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Walmart kicks off TV campaign for grocery pickup

Walmart kicks off TV campaign for grocery pickup

Media blitz backs up retail giant’s omnichannel grocery push

Walmart is backing up its massive expansion of online grocery fulfillment with what it calls its biggest campaign for grocery pickup.

Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for Walmart U.S., said yesterday that the retailer has launched a series of eye-catching, action-packed television commercials to emphasize the speed and convenience of the Walmart Grocery Pickup service.

“We’ve created TV commercials for Walmart Grocery Pickup and promoted the service in other ways. But with the service now available nationally and growing in both popularity and to even more locations this year, we’re kicking off 2019 with our biggest and first-ever cross-platform national marketing campaign for Walmart Grocery Pickup,” Messing said in a blog post on Sunday.

The campaign, which launched during the Golden Globes awards program  on NBC Sunday night, uses famous cars from TV and movies to highlight the “magic moment” of the grocery pickup experience — when a Walmart associate loads groceries ordered online into a customer’s car, according to Messing.

Famous vehicles appearing in the humorous, 15-second to 1.5-minute spots include the Batmobile, the Ghostbusters ambulance, Knight Rider Firebird, Dumb & Dumber “Mutt Cutts” van, Scooby Doo Mystery Machine, Jurassic Park SUV, Cinderella glass carriage, Flintstones foot-powered car and Back to the Future flying DeLorean.

“We not only picked famous cars from iconic movies we knew would be instantly recognizable to our customers — and launched the campaign during one of the film industry’s most popular awards shows — but we also worked with a variety of different Hollywood studios to gain access to these vehicles,” Messing explained. “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.”

Besides the TV spots, the Walmart pickup campaign includes social media, online videos, radio ads and in-store media.

“By sharing a consistent message across a variety of platforms, we’re confident we’ll be able to convince even more customers to give Walmart Grocery Pickup a shot,” added Messing.

Walmart plans to have 2,140 online grocery pickup sites, covering 69% of U.S. households, and online grocery delivery through 800 stores, covering about 40% of the population, by the close of its 2019 fiscal year at the end of January. For fiscal 2020, the retailer is targeting about 3,100 curbside pickup and 1,600 delivery locations by the year’s end.

Previously, Walmart said it expects to reach its goal of 40% growth in U.S. e-commerce sales for fiscal 2019, and the company projected 35% growth for fiscal 2020.

This past fall, Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell predicted in a research note that Walmart will top Amazon in online grocery market share by the end of 2018. “The retailer is reaping returns on the many years of investment in e-commerce and customer service, and we believe the company is now in position to accelerate market share gains in grocery,” he wrote.

Amazon led the online grocery market in 2017 with sales of $2 billion for a 12.5% share, followed by Walmart at sales of $1.78 billion and an 11.1% share, according to the Deutsche Bank report. “Further, we believe Walmart could reach 17% online grocery market share by 2025,” Trussell said.

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