Wal-Mart is celebrating the spirit of inventive American entrepreneurs through its first-ever original web-series.
The “Get on the Shelf” contest will award five winners (from different product categories) the opportunity to be sold through the retailer’s e-commerce platform, with one winner receiving extra promotion on the company’s Web site and through its e-mail promotions. The series is produced by VIMBY, the digital studio of Mark Burnett Productions, the company behind shows like “The Voice,” “Survivor” and, understandably, “Shark Tank.”
For the next five weeks, Wal-Mart will upload a new episode showcasing products in five different categories (such as “Live Better,” “Kids Stuff,” or “Great Gadgets”). Consumers will be given 72 hours to cast votes for a winner. The contest is an extension of a similar promotion that Wal-Mart ran last year, although the addition of product backstories and presentations to a panel of Wal-Mart buyers is new this year.
“Last year, there was a lot of learning. There were all of these incredible backstories, [and] we had no way to elevate that and bring it to the public,” Ravi Jariwala, a Wal-Mart representative, tells Marketing Daily. “We're creating these webisodes to give a different look at each of these finalists.”>
The first episode, which went live on Sept. 24, features products in a “Live Better” category, which shows off products intended to make the world a better place. The episode features products such as “Smanimals” -- scented animals that donates a portion of the proceeds to wildlife preserves; “Walkin’ Wheels,” a wheelchair to help elderly, handicapped and disabled dogs move around, “Lynx Safe,” a teen driving monitor, and “Chemo Beanies,” designer scarves for women undergoing cancer treatment and losing their hair.
One winner will be selected from each category to have their product sold online through walmart.com. A grand-prize winner (selected by the number of pre-orders for their product) will also have the opportunity to have their product promoted through walmart.com and via e-mail promotions. That grand-prize winner will also have the opportunity to present their product to retail buyers for possible inclusion on Wal-Mart retail shelves.