ISSUE NO. 68 07/25/12

Chicagoans and New Yorkers had a new way of shopping for those unwieldy, hard-to-transport consumables like dog food or laundry detergent in the month of June. Courtesy of Walmart and Procter & Gamble, the two big cities hosted street-level buying options in which urban dwellers could purchase needed items right on the street. The initiative, @PGMobile, used mobile, social and real-time messages to grow loyalty among city shoppers and bring attention to Walmart's delivery service, an attempt to compete against Amazon's quick delivery convenience.

In Chicago, the retailer and brand manufacturer set up virtual "pop-up" stores at bus stops, while in Manhattan they used a food truck-style transaction center. The @PGmobile trucks, scattered across the city's five boroughs, used Twitter to let people know where they were and asked for requests on where to go next. In both cities, the street "stores" carried eight different P&G products at Walmart's signature low prices, including Iams dog food, Pampers diapers, Tide detergent and Gillette razors. Also, the trucks had giant QR codes to drive shoppers to Walmart's e-commerce hub. Once there, they saw messages about the free shipping available on orders of $45 or more.

"We look forward to seeing results of this initiative in Chicago and New York," noted Chad Brizendine, brand manager, Walmart Grooming and, P&G. "While I can't elaborate on our plans going forward, we know reaching the urban consumer is a big opportunity for us and we are committed to finding the right (way) to better serve this consumer."

For all that shopper marketers try to develop partnerships between retailers and manufacturers, rarely do we see initiatives on the scale of this effort. It manages to directly address a serious competitive challenge by going face-to-face with a shopper group it wants to grow. Better, its message about delivery is hard to miss and hits right at the core of why the urban shopper turns to Walmart's competitors. And it's a win for P&G who not only gets attention and sales but also sweetens its relationship with the hard-to-please retailer. Finally, the initiative makes tangible the notion that shopper marketing isn't only in the physical store - shopper marketing can happen anywhere.

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"In Latest Play for City-Dwellers, P&G and Walmart Take Inspiration From Food Trucks," Ad Age, 6/8/12 or see attached

"Walmart On Wheels: Big Box Bogeyman Sneaks Into New York in a Procter & Gamble Food Truck," The New York Observer, 6/10/12
food trucks, P&G , urban shoppers, Walmart

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