Last month Walmart announced a partnership with directors Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Antoine Fuqua and Marc Forster to create a series of short films that will premier during commercial breaks on Oscar night in a week. The films smartly tap into the idea that behind every receipt is a unique story.
Found Remote interviewed Kirsten Evans, Walmart's Senior Vice President of Marketing, to learn more about the big campaign.
Found Remote: Why did Walmart try to work with these celebrities?
Kirsten Evans: We wanted to create a campaign suitable for the Oscars stage that celebrates creativity and storytelling. While there are many talented directors and filmmakers creating great work, we chose Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, Antoine Fuqua and Marc Forster because they have unique creative perspectives that would result in really interesting storytelling.
FR: Why storytelling during The Oscars versus a straight up commercial?
KE: Being a part of the Academy Awards is a great way to connect with our customers in a fresh new way…this is a brand moment for us. As the world's largest brand, and a company that sells just about everything, we plan to be more involved, more engrained in the cultural moments that our customers care about, starting with the Oscars.
This is a campaign celebrating creativity and storytelling, something our customers do every day. A Walmart receipt tells a story as diverse as the customers who shop us. We think of our business beyond simple transactions – Walmart is about serving the people behind those receipts and saving them time and money. This unexpected way of telling our brand story is a perfect fit for a night where compelling storytelling is celebrated.
FR: What will the digital/social components be?
KE: We hope everyone will be interested in seeing the short films again after the Oscars so we will post them on Walmart’s YouTube channel and our Academy Awards landing page, walmart.com/the receipt for an extended period of time.
Additionally, we will be engaging online with our customers during and after the Oscars. I encourage everyone to follow our social channels on February 26.
FR: Will Walmart continue to create more branded content like this for linear and digital?
Walmart receipts are inspirational because when you think about it, every receipt tells a really interesting story. So for us, this campaign is not only a great fit for an Oscars audience but one we could build on in the future.
FR: How do the KPIs differ from a traditional commercial?
KE: Since it’s the first time we’ve been a part of the Oscars, we want to create a big brand moment for us and a big entertainment moment for the audience. This campaign isn’t about reaching a new or different audience, but rather about reaching our audience in a place where we know they’re most engaged. We want to put our brand in places that are passion points, and entertainment is an important one.
FR: Anything else?
KE: This is just the first year of a multi-year partnership with the Academy Awards. As part of our sponsorship, Walmart is supporting the art of storytelling in film through a donation to The Academy Grants Program for FilmCraft. We are proud to be making a donation of $250,000 in the name of our short film directors. FilmCraft is a dynamic high-quality educational program that identifies and empowers future filmmakers from nontraditional backgrounds and we are excited to support it.
In addition, for the past two years, Walmart has been a proud and founding sponsor of the Bentonville Film Festival that was launched by actress Geena Davis.