RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Target vs. Walmart

Discussion
Sources: Target - "All The Ways"; Walmart - "Give It To Me"
Nov 28, 2018

Two retailers not named Amazon.com that are looking to keep their comparable sales winning streaks going are Target and Walmart. Unlike Amazon, which has more limited physical location options, Target and Walmart feature their stores as a key convenience to customers. The two rivals play to their unified commerce advantage in spots produced for the Christmas selling season.

Target has been clear about its intention to convince Americans that it is the most convenient retailer to shop, and its “All The Ways” holidays spot is focused on the options that support that brand proposition, including free two-day shipping, drive-up service, in-store order pickup and same-day delivery via Shipt. The commercial uses Meghan Trainor’s “All The Ways” as its backing track in what appears to be an attempt to appeal to younger consumers in need of a Target run.

While Walmart’s “Give It To Me” goes old school with its “Give It To Me Baby” soundtrack by Rick James, its message is present-day, featuring the retailer’s ability to provide gifts for everyone, including self-gifters. Convenience, in the form of Walmart’s mobile app and in-store pickup, is also a key element in the messaging.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:  What is your critique of Target’s “All The Ways” and Walmart’s “Give It To Me” commercials? Which retailer does a better job of connecting with its core customers while reaching out to new shoppers?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"It is interesting that both have focused on delivery and shopping services. This is one of the key battlegrounds this holiday season."
"It’s remarkable that the almost endless shipping and fulfillment options now have become front and center with retailers’ holiday messaging."
"Usually Target does a great job with music, but I’m afraid they got “Can’t Touch This”‘d by Walmart."

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15 Comments on "RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Target vs. Walmart"


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Art Suriano
Guest
Target gets my vote hands down. I like both ads but Target gets the message across with an original soundtrack. When I’m watching the ad, I see Target, same day delivery, and all the benefits. Walmart using a rendition of Superfreak, a favorite song of the ’80s is okay but doesn’t connect me to Walmart because it can be anybody. What I also like about the Target spot is that it is still effective if I’m not watching the ad. Perhaps I’ve stepped into another room during the commercial break. Listening to the commercial, in just a few seconds, I hear the benefits like same day delivery and that the place is Target. If I’m not watching the Walmart ad, I have no idea who it’s for or what they’re offering. Lastly, even if I DVR the show and fast forward through the commercials, I still quickly see Target and the benefits it’s pointing out. Today when there are so many ads, and it’s easy for your commercial to get lost, a company must do… Read more »
Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

It is interesting that both have focused on delivery and shopping services. This is one of the key battlegrounds this holiday season.

I like both advertisements but, for me, Target wins it. I think the execution is better and the range of services on offers is more clearly enunciated. Plus I think Target’s ad is more colorful and playful than Walmart’s.

Jeff Sward
BrainTrust

I have a growing respect for everything Walmart is doing and embrace it all. But my bias coming into the commercials is unchanged. Target offers better clarity of offering and overall shopping experience.

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

Both ads are very catchy and have just the right amount of impressionable content for a 30-second ad. It’s remarkable that the almost endless shipping and fulfillment options now have become front and center with retailers’ holiday messaging.

However my vote goes to the Target team, as they were far more original and had their own song, had the right amount of holiday magic and clearly articulated their shipping options without overwhelming the customer.

Dick Seesel
BrainTrust

This one’s nearly a toss-up for me, with both ads exhibiting different strengths. The Target spot is instantly identifiable by the red and white color scheme and abstract setting, and hits the “convenience” message effectively throughout. But I find it a little sterile compared to the Walmart ad — showing real people celebrating the holidays in a real home while still making its points about “omnichannel” benefits.

I’m a Target shopper but also a huge fan of the current Walmart campaign, which has incorporated “old school” pop hits in some very effective ways. So that coin toss comes out slightly in Walmart’s favor.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

I like both of these ads but I have to give it to Walmart because that ad made me smile. It’s a fun story and I like the song tie-in.

Maybe it’s me, but all Target ads are starting to look and sound the same. I hear the music and see all the red and tune out, thinking I have already seen it before.

Harley Feldman
BrainTrust

Target lays out the many ways to purchase and either pick up or have delivered items for Christmas. Its message should resonate with those consumers that either stress out about holiday gift purchasing or wait until the last minute. It is a straightforward message yet meshes nicely with the music. Walmart’s commercial is targeted at the last minute shopper. Even though the ad highlights using the mobile app for ordering, Target’s ad provides a better look into all of the shopping possibilities for the consumer. Target wins.

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust

Despite the relatively mundane topic (shipping, pickup) both ads are excellent. Finally a pair that I can say that about.

Both get across a solid core reason to shop at the retailer. Both are superbly on-target for the brands they represent. I’m particularly pleased with the family represented in the Walmart ad. But I also always love Target’s embracing of their clear brand-distinctive assets. (The Target ad is more distinctive, so there’s a slight advantage there. Tune into the middle of Walmart’s ad and it could be about anyone…)

It is concerning that Target is giving away two-day shipping. When will we come back to economic stability and charge for premium services? Sigh.

I give a slight edge to Target — but perhaps that’s because I shop there more often and have stronger brand connections to Target.

Mohamed Amer
BrainTrust
Mohamed Amer
Independent Board Member, Investor and Startup Advisor
3 years 1 month ago
Both ads work and are consistent with the brand. Target commercials communicate clearly and distinctly: the red color always stands out, the scene is always crisp, and the people and their movements are choreographed with precision. It comes off as a work of art, a 30-second moving canvas that is unmistakably Target. This spot was consistent with what a Target customer expects to see and it drove home the message of great convenience in shopping. There’s no mistaking the spot as anything but a Target commercial, so branding and advertising work well here. Walmart’s is more “real” with a story focused on one person as she checks off her list of holiday gift giving. We get to connect with her and not just experience the excitement of the season, but also how easily she combines the online and store experience on her mobile device and local Walmart. The scenes are real life situations, the movements are brisk and unguarded. I don’t recall any mention of low prices or best deals and so on, this was… Read more »
Rich Kizer
BrainTrust

My opinion is the Target ad wins this one hands down. The reason; their spot spent the message time on reinforcing the different ways — “all the ways” — to acquire the product(s) you are looking to purchase. Now Walmart: I love disco music. that being said, the Walmart spot really supported only one channel: BOPIS. If you’re going to sell your service proposition options for holiday purchasing, you only have less than 28 days to do so. That would require promoting more than one option in their spots. Target wins by a landslide.

Lee Peterson
BrainTrust

Funny, both ads say the same thing, but the Walmart/Rick James ad was the one that turned all the Millennial heads in my living room this weekend. Usually Target does a great job with music, but I’m afraid they got “Can’t Touch This”‘d by Walmart.

James Tenser
BrainTrust

I’d award this face-off to Target, by a hair over Walmart. Both ads do a fine job of conveying an upbeat story about how they deliver on the holiday shopping promise. Their music choices are both effective and fun.

Target’s edge is in the way it reinforces the core brand visually in the vignettes and the efficient way that it illustrates holiday shopping options.
Walmart takes a more conventional slice-of-life approach. The archetypal “busy mom” has appeared in many ads over the years from many brands. Here she orders online for store pickup.

A very close call, but I think Target’s ad will motivate shoppers more.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest

Both stress ease of pick up and delivery services. Both were well done. I actually looked at them twice. My nod goes to Target. But I am not sure why. Walmart is doing a much better job getting their message across lately.

Lee Kent
Guest

Target gets my vote. We all know what items can be found at both, so telling how my shopping can be easy is all I need to know. For my 2 cents.

Jeff Miller
Guest

Both do a good job of getting their main message across. I also admire that there is no mention of discounts or promotions, which is the lowest hanging fruit in holiday advertising. The Target ad hits the key messages more directly and also with a more branded look and feel. When I see all of that red, I think Target.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"It is interesting that both have focused on delivery and shopping services. This is one of the key battlegrounds this holiday season."
"It’s remarkable that the almost endless shipping and fulfillment options now have become front and center with retailers’ holiday messaging."
"Usually Target does a great job with music, but I’m afraid they got “Can’t Touch This”‘d by Walmart."

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