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Ben Baker on Super Bowl LIII & Walmart's “Grocery Pickup Famous Cars” campaign

EXPERT COLUMNIST
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409   //    02 Feb 2019, 11:42 IST

A look at Walmart's Super Bowl LIII campaign
A look at Walmart's Super Bowl LIII campaign

With over 11,000 stores operating in over two dozen countries, Walmart is both the world's largest company by revenue and the world's largest private employer. Despite those mind-blowing facts about the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer's global influence, the company continues to expand. Its Walmart Grocery Pickup is now available in 2,100 stores across the United States with 1,000 more to be added this year.

As part of Super Bowl LIII, Walmart is relaunching its television campaign for Walmart’s Grocery Pickup. Featuring classic movie cars like the Batmobile, the DeLorean from Back To the Future and Scooby Doo's Mystery Machine picking up groceries at Walmart, the commercial is set to air just minutes before the Super Bowl's kick-off.

The Super Bowl is far from Walmart's only involvement within the sporting world. Just this week Walmart announced a partnership with Fanatics to launch a specialty store selling licensed sports apparel on Walmart.com. This will include "hundreds of thousands of items from professional sports leagues, including NFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, and MLS," per Walmart's sports and fitness e-commerce general manager Eric O'Toole.

I had the opportunity to ask Ben Baker, Senior Director of Pickup & Mobile App Marketing for Walmart, about these new developments and more. Additional information on Walmart and the Grocery Pickup Famous Cars campaign -- which features the hit song "Cars" by Gary Numan -- can be found online at http://grocery.walmart.com.

How did the Grocery Pickup Famous Cars campaign come together? Did it come from someone within Walmart? An agency?

Ben Baker: Now that Walmart Grocery Pickup is available nationwide and growing in both popularity and to even more locations this year, we decided to kick off 2019 with our biggest and first-ever cross-platform national marketing campaign for Walmart Grocery Pickup.

The campaign launched during the Golden Globes and the 60-second spot will air for the first time since the Globes, just minutes before kick-off at the Big Game. The spot uses "famous cars" to highlight the “magic moment” of the Walmart Grocery Pickup experience: when a Walmart associate loads the customer’s trunk with groceries.

The ad was created by Walmart in collaboration with PublicisNY’s Department W agency.

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How long did everything take to come together for the campaign? I'd assume that there were a lot of moving parts in terms of rights clearances...

Ben Baker: It took roughly six months from ideation to planning to secure the cars to execution. We not only picked “famous cars” from iconic movies we knew would be instantly recognizable to our customers, but we also worked with a variety of different Hollywood studios to gain access to these vehicles. This helped ensure the “famous cars” looked just like what our customers knew from the films while demonstrating the ease, speed and convenience of the service – and that it’s for everyone, regardless of what car you drive.

Are there plans to do more spots with the Grocery Pickup Famous Cars campaign?

Ben Baker: We will continue to roll out new famous car work through the campaign, including eight new 15-second spots. We also created a whole host of additional “famous cars” content to ensure we’re reaching busy time-starved families wherever they are – including via social mediaonline videos, radio, and of course, while shopping our stores.

To coincide with the launch of the campaign, our stores even joined in on the fun, sharing content on their own Facebook pages to create excitement around the launch. You can expect to see more from “Grocery Pickup Famous Cars” in the coming weeks as we continue to reach customers no matter where they are.

How does Walmart's grocery service differ from that of competitors? Any unique features you can tell me about?

Ben Baker: 90 percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart store, and we serve more than 100 million customers a week. Our combined physical and digital presence uniquely positions us to help customers save time and money. Customers can order online and pick up their groceries curbside for FREE in more than 2,100 stores nationwide, with 1,000 more locations to be added this year.

Walmart also offers Grocery Delivery, which is available in more than 800 stores with another 800 being adding this year. Walmart’s Grocery Delivery service offers customers their essentials as soon as the same day with a simple $7.95/$9.95 fee – no subscription and no price markups.

With the help of personal shoppers, customers are able to have fresh groceries anytime they want. Personal shoppers must complete a three-week training program learning how to select the freshest produce and the best cuts of meat for Online Grocery customers, whether you’re using pickup or delivery.

Grocery Pickup aside, what is coming up for Walmart in 2019? Any exciting collaborations, services or new lines that you can talk about?

Ben Baker: We have a number of projects in the works, but right now, we are continuing our focus on making it easier for our customers to shop for groceries wherever and whenever they want, whether online via Walmart.com/grocery or through the Walmart Grocery App. We’re always identifying ways to improve the shopping experience for customers. 

Finally, is there something you wish more people knew about Walmart?

Ben Baker: At Walmart, we know our customers are busy, so we have extremely hardworking Associates who make it as easy as possible to get them what they need for their families. Associates help make Grocery Pickup and Delivery an easy option for families on-the-go. Our Associates are also passionate about helping out each other and the community too and that’s what truly sets them apart.

Walmart is also making shopping and working easier for customers and associates alike. From using immersive, virtual reality technology to train Associates, to the new Check Out With Me service that allows customers to check out from anywhere on the sales floor and the Walmart Pickup Towers that deliver millions of items from Walmart.com to your local Walmart store -- without the cost of shipping -- we want to make shopping easier for customers everywhere.

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