Doodle Inspirations – October 16

Here are a few things that caught our attention and got us talking this past week: 

While Halloween remains a question-mark for many parents and would-be trick-or-treaters, Walmart’s holiday solutions encourage safe festivities. Hosting socially distant trick-or-treating at 100 stores across the country starting October 15, the retailer also released Halloween-themed virtual programming, following a successful summer event series including virtual kids’ camps. The six-episode series includes tutorials, crafts and games. We like the idea of the virtual programming, but wish we knew some numbers around the overall attendance of previous events/programs and marketing opportunities that might exist.

Ikea announced “Buy Back Friday” – a promotion aimed at improving the company’s image of sustainability that will flip Black Friday on its head. In the promotion running November 24 – December 3 across 27 countries, consumers can register their unwanted Ikea furniture on a website in return for an in-store voucher valued based on the condition of their listed item(s). The listed furniture – in turn – will be sold through special second-hand areas of Ikea stores. While we like the idea of flipping a consumer impulse opportunity on its head, we want to see the consumer feedback of this inaugural event to evaluate the practice in action.

Disney revealed a major organization restructuring affecting its media and entertainment divisions. As the streaming business becomes a more emphasized piece, Disney is centralizing their media business (content distribution, ad sales and Disney+) into a single organization. Keeping in mind this is happening after amusement parks and movie theaters continue to suffer as COVID prevents re-openings, the media giant continues to invest heavily in content needing distribution points including movies such as Mulan, Black Widow and Soul as well as streaming series like The Mandalorian. While we find this restructuring interesting from a media streamlining perspective, we were more interested to read this opinion piece from AdWeek that displayed the possible benefits if the streaming service revised its bundles to include park and shopping discounts and its possible impact on Disney’s bottom line.

As Walmart continues to evolve their offerings to more closely emulate Amazon, we weren’t surprised to see the brand introduce their own “Big Save Event” to compete with Amazon’s Prime Day. While Prime ran over 2 days this year and was in October compared to their normal mid-July timing, Walmart’s inaugural event ran over 3 days and offered in-store pickup as well as deep discounts on major, well known products including Instant Pots and noise-cancelling headphones. Given the marketing implications of Prime Day messaging suggesting an early start on holiday shopping, we’re interested to see the data regarding sales for both companies (and the comparison year-over-year for Prime Day).