On Cyber Monday 2016—the second-busiest shopping day of the year and what turned out to be the largest single day for e-commerce ever—Walmart.com wanted to make a splash with plenty of doorbusting deals and compete with big marketplace sites such as Amazon. So it tried a new strategy: It streamed a video feed live to millions of consumers to drive sales and engagement.
“We have entered the age of the second and third screen, so there was no better way to demonstrate the impact of live video and aggregating audiences than with a Cyber Monday multicast from the world’s largest retailer,” says Andy Latimer, CEO of integrated media agency Bluewater Media.
The four-hour event was staged, shot, and broadcast by Bluewater in cooperation with Triad Retail Media, and it reached millions of consumers with some of the best deals of the season. Bluewater Media Partner Brian Fasulo emceed the show, leading viewers from set to set, where bodybuilding elves, holiday carolers, and premier pitchpersons presented Walmart’s online exclusives. Bluewater broadcast the event from its new 4K-60P control room in Clearwater, Fla., showing that a multicamera, professional studio environment can be crucial to the advancement of online content.
Walmart’s web traffic spiked, and the campaign allowed watchers to react to the deals and holiday cheer through social media for a truly interactive shopping experience. “As direct-to-consumer marketers continue to expand into the digital space, it is solutions like this that will drive new customers to like, share, follow, and yes, buy,” Latimer says.
The direct-to-consumer event is thought to be the largest marriage of online technology and video content produced to date, and it may have helped prime the pump for the 36 percent growth Walmart.com reported in first quarter. “This is where the market is going,” Latimer says. “It really is about touching the consumer directly. As opposed to pushing the consumer to buy a product, we are now starting to pull the consumer in and let them see what’s going on firsthand. This is what the future of web marketing and video content looks like.”