Walmart launches new brand platform for back to school

Who: Walmart, with Cossette for strategy and creative, Starcom for media.

What: “Low prices for all the school days,” the retailer’s back-to-school TV ad and the first creative on the recently launched brand platform, “Can Better Be Better?”

When & Where: The campaign launched July 21, running through the end of August on TV, as well as OLV, social and digital.

Why: Low prices remain the foundation of the Walmart brand, but the new brand platform will emphasize all the ways it can make the lives of its customers better because Walmart—and its associates—understand them so well. “It’s definitely an optimistic outlook on life and how we overcome little everyday challenges together,” said Cossette’s executive creative director, Anthony Atkinson.

Back to school is a time of year that brings new challenges for many families. “I’ve always liked mining for stories during this season because it’s an interesting one, full of emotion and tension,” said Atkinson. “It’s a time for Walmart to really see eye-to-eye with customers on a human level.”

How: The launch ad features a mother and two kids in a Walmart. They are joined by an associate who asks if it’s possible to get everything they need for back to school and have an awesome first day. The answer is yes, but the daughter wonders about all the other special days after that, like ’60s day, backwards day, lucky hat day, invisible day, beach day…

“It’s too many days,” the associate says to the vexed mother before reassuring her: “We got you.”

“As a parent of two boys, I find it hilarious and frustrating to learn that every other day at my boys’ school has some kind of theme,” said Atkinson. “As parents, how do we keep up with it? On top of everything else, too? Many nights, we all find ourselves running to Walmart. Thank you, Walmart.”

The platform: Walmart associates will be featured in future campaigns to help tell other stories on the “Can better be better?” platform, said Atkinson. “In some cases, our associates appear in customers’ homes, in delivery trucks, and in this instance, in store by our customer’s side,” he said. “The key to making the spots engaging is finding an amusing insight that signals to our customers, ‘We see you.’ And it always resolves with a moment of allyship, which lands the message of how better is now better.”

David Brown