Wal-Mart Gets an Early Start on the Holidays

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart yesterday got the jump on its holiday promotional activities by unveiling its first such campaign to launch so early. In other significant holiday marketing firsts for the world's biggest retailer, the campaign features celebrities and will be integrated across all media channels and in-store signage.

Employing the theme "Home for the Holidays," Wal-Mart's holiday campaign focuses on the holiday doings of such popular famous faces as Garth Brooks, Destiny's Child, Martina McBride, Jesse McCartney, and Queen Latifah, each celebrating in their real homes. Together with a wide assortment of gifts, the celebs will be featured in print, on TV, radio, and in-store signage, and online.

"We're responding to our customers with an assertive, new-style marketing approach to ensure that they know we're the place to shop for the widest variety of gifts at the best value this holiday season," said Wal-Mart c.m.o. John Fleming. "This campaign corresponds to our overall objective of being more relevant to the broad range of customers who shop in our stores. We expect our focus on familiar celebrities who are enjoying themselves at home with family and friends to resonate well with everyone who is looking forward to being home for the holidays this year."

"For the first time, customers who walk the aisles of Wal-Mart stores or visit Walmart.com will be seeing signage and graphics consistent with the ads they've seen in their newspapers or on TV," added Fleming. "Our campaign is designed to help customers identify this season's hottest gifts and to make sure that they know they can find them, as well as everything they need for a great holiday, at Wal-Mart."

The full campaign will feature six 30-second television spots and one 60-second spot, which will run on network and national cable stations and in national syndication and local markets, along with a two-minute video for video on demand, which will be run by various cable providers. In addition, four print ads are scheduled to run in the November and December issues of such magazines as In Style; O, The Oprah Magazine; Entertainment Weekly; Redbook; People; and Us Weekly. The retailer's holiday marketing will spotlight three key gift categories -- home decor, electronics, and toys -- encompassing a range of price points.

"By starting earlier and building consistent and dynamic messaging around these key categories, we want to show our customers that we have the holiday merchandise they want, when they want it, at the affordable prices they trust from Wal-Mart," noted Fleming. "With a message this strong, we believe people will think of Wal-Mart as their primary holiday shopping destination."

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The company also operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.
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