Stephen Quinn, exec veep and chief marketing officer of Walmart, urged producers and distribs to alert the retail giant about prospective programs early on to give the company the opportunity to help sponsor and promote family friendly fare.
Walmart is hungry to advertise in more faith-infused and family friendly fare because it has a clear benefit in boosting the impact of its marketing messages, Quinn told attendees Friday at the Purpose summit on family and faith-based entertainment presented by Variety and Rogers and Cowan at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills.
“We want to work with (producers) early,” Quinn said during his opening keynote Q&A with Ben Simon, co-chair of the Assn. of National Advertisers Alliance for Family Entertainment and also senior director of Walmart.
“We can get behind the promotion of some of this programming by featuring it in our in-store network, talking about it on our social media channels,” Quinn said, noting that Walmart has some 30 million Facebook fans.
Quinn emphasized that Walmart is aware of its responsibility as one of the nation’s largest employers and advertisers to support what it views as worthy programming. In Quinn’s view, there’s a serious supply and demand issue in the volume of family fare coming from Hollywood — an assertion that was music to the ears of confab attendees.
“We need a lot more of this content,” Quinn said. “We’re emboldened at Walmart as we’ve gotten behind these kind of things we’re seeing a real reaction from our customers and our associates.”
He cited the success of Mark Burnett and Roma Downey’s “Bible” miniseries for the History cabler as an example of a high-end production that yielded huge returns for Walmart, thanks to homevid and merchandising sales.
“This content has to compete from a quality standpoint as well,” Quinn said. “We’re here to get behind this content.”
Another retail juggernaut for Walmart these days is A&E Network’s “Duck Dynasty,” which has struck a chord with heartland consumers.
The presence of the Walmart execs at the confab drew a handful of demonstrators outside the hotel repping the OurWalmart campaign, which aims to pressure the company to raise wages for employees, among other issues.