Walmart breaks eco-barriers

The retailer's new TV and online campaign addresses three key issues that can hinder 'green' marketing: price, confusion and habit.

Walmart wants to help its shoppers develop an affordable green routine with a new campaign focused on eco-friendly products.

Developed by JWT Toronto with media handled by Excelerator Media in Toronto, the campaign is aiming for mass reach – online ads on and, conventional television, in-store promotions and flyers that reach seven million people.

‘Our consumers are absolutely TV viewers, but they’re also very much online. We get a lot of traffic to, and extending that beyond is important to us as well,’ says Jennifer Stahlke, director of field marketing, Walmart Canada, adding that the brand is currently exploring alternative media for future campaigns.

Last year the company conducted a study to find out about how to better market their sustainability efforts to their consumers. Stahlke believes that this campaign addresses the main barrier that prevented Walmart’s other eco-efforts from resonating with shoppers – that of cost.

‘We were less focused on products at unbeatable prices and more focused on initiatives that Walmart was taking on as part of our green platform. So this particular campaign is, we believe, tying very closely to our positioning,’ Stahlke adds.

According to research, many respondents are confused as to which products are eco-friendly, as they are bombarded with mixed messages about the green movement.

This is why Walmart launched its ‘For the Greener Good’ program, in which products approved by third-party certification groups as eco-friendly are highlighted by in-store signage that is recognizable by shoppers. Some of these products are featured in the current campaign, as well as their price points, which is still central to Walmart’s overall platform.

‘We don’t think that consumers should have to choose between a product that they can afford and one that’s better for the environment,’ Stahlke says.