Saatchi Breaks First Work for Walmart on the Olympics

Ads tout retailer's push to create U.S. manufacturing jobs

A Walmart campaign breaking during NBC's broadcast of the Winter Olympics comes from a new roster shop, Saatchi & Saatchi, the retailer has confirmed.

The campaign centers around Walmart's drive to create new manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Last year, the retailer pledged to buy $250 billion in products made in America across 10 years.

Sources said that Saatchi landed the plum assignment after a pitch involving both roster and nonroster agencies, including Saatchi and The Martin Agency, which has worked on the brand since 2007.

Spending around the new campaign was not disclosed. All told, Walmart spends more than $500 million in media each year.

Three new ads—all posted on Walmart's YouTube page—are set in factories and end with screen copy explaining Walmart's pledge. The first, "Lights On," depicts men and women at work during the course of a day before it cuts to screen copy that says, "Actions speak louder than words." That ad first aired last night.

The other two ads, "Working Man" and "I Am a Factory," take a similar approach. "Working Man" features a 1974 Rush song of the same name and, like  "Lights On," eschews a voiceover in favor of factory scenes.

In confirming the Saatchi relationship, a Walmart representative described the agency as a roster shop. The Martin Agency, however, remains the retailer's lead shop.

While Saatchi's advertising operation hasn't worked for Walmart before, its shopper marketing unit, Saatchi & Saatchi X, has worked on the brand for years. In fact, Saatchi X helped open the door for the main agency to pitch the business, according to sources.

In addition, Saatchi X's former CEO, Andy Murray, is now an svp of creative at Walmart. He joined the retailer last August.