- A Wal-Mart ad promoting “6 Easter Basket Must Haves" showed up this week in a Popular Mechanics Snapchat Discover story.
- The ad uses simple animation and colorful Easter shades to depict a large egg bringing a basket of goodies to a smaller egg.
- Viewers who tap the “read” prompt at the bottom of the ad are shown a different screen that they can scroll through to view a variety of Easter-themed baskets and items to put inside them, including a new Beauty and the Beast doll, exclusive Lego sets and candy.
The Wal-Mart ad itself is noteworthy because of its use of simple animation and attention-grabbing colors to tell a story in just a few seconds, a format mobile users are familiar with on Snapchat and other mobile-first visual platforms. Giving viewers the option to tap through to see more information, including tips on how to make an Easter basket, takes advantage of Snapchat users' familiarity with navigating Discover content, which typically starts with a multimedia screen announcing a topic and then encourages viewers to tap to read more.
With consumers visiting physical stores less frequently, Wal-Mart is using campaigns like this one to keep its name top of mind for planned shopping trips, like for Easter merchandise. In addition to the Snapchat campaign, Wal-Mart also debuted a how-to video on YouTube for building an Easter basket and videos of its new holiday TV spots.
The holiday, traditionally an important one for mainstream retailers like Wal-Mart, could be even bigger this year because it arrives later than last year. The later holiday means the weather is likely to be warmer and consumers could be more interested in shopping for spring items during a trip for Easter items. An improving economy could also boost holiday sales. For these reasons, the National Retail Federation is forecasting that Easter retail sales will increase 6% this year to $18.4 billion.
Wal-Mart is smart to gain a better understanding of Snapchat’s users, as the platform’s combination of camera-based engagements like scanning and geofilters as well as the way it brings together an array of media elements — including video, animation, digital overlays and more — is having an influence on other digital platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Snapchat and Wal-Mart share an interest in leveraging mobile to integrate online and physical shopping. The social media platform acquired augmented reality startup Cimagine to enhance scans of real-world images while several recent promotions in Wal-Mart’s IT department point to how the retailer is working on unifying online and in-store technology with mobile serving as the linchpin, according to The Wall Street Journal's CIO blog.
At the same time that Wal-Mart is leveraging mobile ads to drive shoppers into stores, it is also beefing up its e-commerce strategy, including its recent acquisition of ModCloth, in an attempt to meet consumers online where more shopping is taking place.