The Checkout

Wal-Mart Wants Mommy

Ylan Mui

Wal-Mart is making a play for the YouTube generation with the help of a dozen "mommy bloggers" tasked with making their own videos on ways to save money and live better, which just happens to be Wal-Mart's motto.

The program launched this week and is called Elevenmoms, but of course, being Wal-Mart, they threw in one more to make 12. One of the bloggers, Jessica Smith of JessicaKnows, hails from Olney, Md.

Smith said Wal-Mart contacted her early this summer with this offer: Create short videos of money-saving tips to kick off its new YouTube channel. Smith did not receive any money from Wal-Mart, but it did provide her with a video camera, a makeover and a photo shoot. The moms will also be headed out to Wal-Mart's headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., for a visit in October, she said.

Wal-Mart will then try to build traffic to its channel by holding a contest for the best viewer-submitted video. The grand prize? A year's worth of groceries at you-know where! I tried to find Wal-Mart's YouTube channel yesterday, but it didn't look like it was up. But you can see all eleven/twelve moms' videos on Wal-Mart's site.

Smith said she was a little conflicted when she signed up for the project. Her family is "progressive," she said. She was born on a hippie commune called The Farm in Summertown, Tenn., and her parents have -- wait for it -- Wake-Up Wal-Mart bumper stickers on their car.

"The controsvery surrounding Wal-Mart is in the forefront," she said. "But [my parents] are excited for me, and I made my choice."

Smith said she's always been the sort of Alex P. Keaton of her family and couldn't pass up the publicity surrounding Wal-Mart's campaign. She said she also felt comfortable with the project because Wal-Mart did not give her any specific topic guidelines or requirements for the videos. Of the half-dozen she has made so far, only one even mentions Wal-Mart -- a challenge to find a new fall look for under $75.

In more Wal-Mart marketing news, the retailer announced it is launching an in-store TV network with custom programing designed to help consumers shop smarter (and perhaps drive sales?) The rollout will begin this month and be completed by 2010.

By Ylan Mui |  September 4, 2008; 7:01 AM ET Consumer News , Marketing , Ylan Mui
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Comments

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I think it's great that advertisers are starting to see just what kind of impact mommy bloggers have!

I'm a fan of Jessica's, a fan of Wal-mart, and a fan of all women following their dreams whether it be blogging or business!

Lori
www.acowboyswife.com

Posted by: Lori aka A Cowboy's Wife | September 4, 2008 11:10 AM

This is the second article I've read that makes me question why Walmart chose those particular 12 moms. One article I read said some of the moms don't even have a Walmart in their town, or shop at Walmart, or even like Walmart. Why didn't Walmart choose mom bloggers who actually shop there?

Posted by: Anon | September 4, 2008 11:24 AM

I am one of the 12, and I shop at my local Walmart.

Walmart chose each mom for a different perspective. Since we are not pitching Walmart's products or services, it is irrelevant whether or not we shop there.

Bottom line, we are 12 bloggers who want to help our fellow Americans save money.

www.kingdomfirstmom.com

Posted by: Alyssa @ Keeping the Kingdom First | September 6, 2008 6:36 PM

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