Earlier today I paged through my moleskin, reviewing a semester’s worth of notes. Which unfortunately, holds a plethora of concepts and ideas that have not made it into this blog… yet. Anyhow, I came across a little rant about the Walmart and P&G collaboration for “Family Movie Night.” Professor Sonnega and I once had a ravishing conversation considering the implications of our family movie content being crafted by, advertised by and ultimately for two of the largest multinational companies on the planet. Mind you, Walmart is the largest retailer with approximately $419 billion in sales for fiscal year ending January 31, 2011 (LexisNexis Academic). P&G isn’t too shabby either with $79 billion in sales for its 2010 fiscal year; $12.6 billion of those sales were at Walmart (Reuters). Seemingly these two companies were partners long before the “Family Movie Night” concept.
Anyhow, I thought about what this type of “win-win” investment means for marketing. If for two hours a family’s media consumption is entirely defined by the two heaviest hitters in CPG and retail it seems more like a infomercial for consumer culture than a wholesome family movie night. The shear breadth of sales the two companies bank individual is mind-boggling— together, obscene! At this point I have not watched any of the movies but have taken a moment to look into the project’s stakeholders.
1. Movie Trailer + Product Placement
Did you catch the blatant shot of P&G products?… kind of hard to miss. I would deem this an advertisement for the advertising you will be watching during the advertisement…OOPS! I meant movie…
2. Retail Sales
Who doesn’t want a copy for the family to watch at anytime? Naturally, the movie will be sold at Walmart.
The P&G owned production company
Procter and Gamble Productions:
The origin of soap operas - P&G’s production company that once focused on daytime radio (and later TV) dramas which it produced and sponsored. Highlights that this type of collaboration is not new.
FOX Entertainment Group:
The broadcast stations the movies are aired on.
For me I have a hard time figuring this is the only way families are able to enjoy wholesome media together. A P&G press release stating,
The Family Movie Night initiative began when research conducted together with the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) Alliance for Family Entertainment revealed that parents across America are seeking more family-oriented entertainment options. This led P&G and Walmart to partner to make a commitment to be part of the solution.
Maybe this isn’t a time to be critical about P&G and Walmart harnessing a prime advertising and branding opportunity. Instead, maybe it is a time to question why consumers openly accept their media consumption and ultimately their “family time” as defined and constructed by Walmart and P&G? Are these brand names familiar to consumers? Do they automatically associate trustworthy feelings? For me, I think there is a dichotomy between this “Family Movie Night” concept and one of the greatest consumer revolutions (currently taking place!) through social media, blogging, you name it!
Expect an update once I view one of the movies…