What is it?
More Than Expected is a campaign we helped develop for Walmart.
What was the challenge?
Create the flagship recruiting tool for all careers within the company. For an organization with 2.2 million associates, that’s a big ask. Many stakeholders were involved. The requirements were: 1. It had to be relevant to all areas of the organization (corporate and store), 2. It had to celebrate the scale of Walmart while dispelling negative perceptions about the company, and 3. It had to contain an element of surprise.
How did you approach it?
After the initial discovery meetings, we got to work developing some creative concepts. The first idea we presented was to take a bunch of interesting facts about Walmart and quantify them visually in an unexpected way. For example, Walmart sells enough milk in one year to fill 1,000 Olympic-size swimming pools and enough pillows to circle the earth’s circumference. They thought it was an interesting idea, but we all agreed that the message should be about people.
After several drafts (and legal’s stamp of approval), we had script lock and started moving into pre-production.
Normally we would put together a shot list, determine locations, and start scheduling shoots. This project was a little different because there were several pieces of the script that couldn’t be staged. For example, the line about being “quick to help when disaster strikes.” We could either wait for a disaster to strike (not a great plan), or look for existing footage. Fortunately, we have a great relationship with Walmart TV and they were willing to release some of their footage. We also pulled footage from some of our previous projects with Walmart.
One of our mantras at Verge is, “Done is better than perfect.” In a perfect world, our team would have shot every piece of footage so that it looked exactly the way we wanted. As artists and creatives, it’s often difficult to sacrifice the ideal visual for something more practical. However, we know that the most important thing for our clients is delivering on concept, on message, on time, and on budget. I believe this is one thing that distinguishes Verge from others. We care way more about doing what’s best for our clients than our own artistic agenda.
What were the results?
In the end, everyone was very pleased with the finished product (including several top executives). The spot is permanently featured on the homepage of walmartcareers.com and a shorter version may end up as a commercial for broadcast.
I’m so proud of our team for all their hard work on this project. It was a challenge to be sure. But, they say doing good work leads to more work. We’ve already started on derivative versions of More Than Expected for Walmart.com and Sam’s Club. I’d say that means we’re doing good work.