Sam’s Club Shares the ‘Joy’

NEW YORK The first work for Sam’s Club from StrawberryFrog encourages viewers to “take home the joy” in a national push touting the warehouse chain’s new relationship with MasterCard.

The campaign includes TV, print, radio, online and direct mail components. It centers on the Arkansas-based retailer’s customers and their Sam’s Club shopping finds. One 30-second commercial features people gleefully posing with their recent purchases to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows.”

Among the happy customers are: a well-dressed woman alongside her hot dog rotisserie grill, a set of twins on their matching Segway scooters, and a couple with a giant inflatable snow globe. The spot ends with a voiceover that announces, “Sam’s Club now takes MasterCard. So bring home the joy” and a graphic of the two company logos coming together.

“Sam’s Club members have found incredible things that they are really proud of in the stores,” said Scott Goodson, CCO of independent StrawberryFrog, of the strategy of the campaign. “Because of the fact Sam’s offers incredible low prices, they feel like they found something special there.”

Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart, began accepting MasterCard purchases on Nov. 10.

“We want to be more relevant to our members and MasterCard represents a step in that evolution,” said Mark Goodman, evp of marketing, membership, and e-commerce for Sam’s Club. “They have a very large share of wallet in the U.S., they are a very strong brand themselves and a great mind share with consumers.”

The New York agency won the Sam’s Club account this summer after a review, succeeding incumbent GSD&M, an Omnicom Group shop in Austin, Texas [Adweek Online, Aug. 16]. GSD&M was not invited to defend. In a separate contest, parent Wal-Mart subsequently moved its $570 million business to Interpublic Group’s DraftFCB (GSD&M and Bernstein-Rein, an independent in Kansas City, Mo., had been the incumbents).

Sam’s Club spends about $15 million annually on ads.

“As we look to reinvigorate our brand and look to build on some of our heritage, we felt we wanted a very creative agency that would help us ignite the brand and create a movement,” said Goodman.

To that end, StrawberryFrog will also soon be launching a nontraditional effort to “build buzz,” he said.