Walmart launches 'American Idol'-like contest for products to win placement in its stores
When a company gets as big as Walmart, how does it stay fresh?
From a consumer standpoint, Walmart is nothing coveted – even in the department store sector, it has zero of the cache a name like Target does – and from an activist viewpoint, the retailer is reviled, the corporate giant that ruins communities, not helps them.
Of course, Walmart can simply look down on its detractors from Mt. Dominance, but you get the sense the Ark.-based store wants more. It wants to be loved.
Well, here’s a way the retailer can get a little buzz. Walmart has just kicked off a contest called “Get on the Shelf,” an American Idol -like campaign where small-time products compete for placement on Walmart’s shelves.
From now until Feb. 22, aspiring pitchmen and women will get a chance to upload videos via YouTube, Dragons’ Den -style, to be considered to appear in Walmart’s stores.
Three winners will be crowned by the public. All three will receive key advertisement on Walmart.com’s front page, which the retailer likes to note reaches some 50 million people.
One of those three winners, though, will receive consideration for prime placement in Walmart’s legion of real-world stores. Given the breadth of Walmart’s retail reach, we’re talking a grand prize that’s a legitimate brand maker here.
What’s unique to Walmart’s contest is that it’s not just a contest but a small business pick-me-up, too.
Certainly, whoever wins the chance to have their product featured in Walmart isn’t likely to be able to meet the kind of demand needed to satisfy 3,000-plus U.S. stores.
Instead, the retailer says it will help the contest’s winner scale up to mass produce its item.
Canadian entrepreneurs aren’t eligible for the Walmart contest, unfortunately, but Canucks can’t compete on American Idol, either. Its Walmart’s hope, we guess, that its “Get on the Shelf” contest can get the kind of international buzz going for it that the TV show does for Fox.