Watch the Batmobile Stop to Pick Up Groceries in Walmart’s Latest Spot

A new campaign stresses the service is for everyone—and every car

Walmart enlisted some familiar cars to demo its grocery pickup service. Walmart
Headshot of Lisa Lacy

If you didn’t know where Batman shops, you do now: He and celebrities like Slimer, Scooby-Doo, the Griswolds, Doc Brown and more—or, more specifically, their cars—make cameos in a new spot from Walmart promoting its free grocery pickup service.

The campaign debuts during NBC’s Golden Globes broadcast tonight and features familiar vehicles from movies and TV shows from the last four decades—including the station wagon from National Lampoon’s Vacation, Lloyd and Harry’s Mutt Cutts van from Dumb and Dumber and more. And it’s set to the tune of Gary Numan’s 1979 hit “Cars,” no less.

In a blog post, Barbara Messing, CMO of Walmart U.S., said the retailer worked with Hollywood studios to ensure “the famous cars looked just like what our customers knew from the films, while demonstrating the ease, speed and convenience of the service—and that it’s for everyone, regardless of what car you drive.” (A rep added in an email that most are replicas, but were “deemed by [the] studios as most like the ones in the actual films.”)

In addition to the TV spot, Messing said the retailer created additional content—including social media, digital videos, radio and in-store signage—to ensure “we’re reaching busy, time-starved … families wherever they are.”

It’s also no coincidence Walmart’s first national campaign for the service comes during a popular Hollywood awards show.

The stakes for online grocery are high—sales are projected to quadruple by 2023 and competition is fierce. That’s in part because a one-size-fits-all strategy does not work for the 326 million U.S. shoppers who are spread out over 3.8 million square miles. Walmart alone has experimented so far with ridesharing, autonomous vehicles, associates making deliveries, working with partners like DoorDash and Postmates and even making in-home deliveries.

Amazon is probably its biggest competitor here, but it’s also vying for consumer attention with sister brand Jet, as well as with Target, Kroger and Instacart, to name a few.

The rep said Walmart achieved its goal of bringing online grocery delivery to 40 percent of the U.S. by the end of 2018—and the post said millions of customers use the pickup service in particular each week now.

The rep said Walmart wanted to highlight the “magic moment” when an employee loads the customer’s trunk with groceries.

“By sharing a consistent message across a variety of platforms, we’re confident we’ll be able to convince even more customers to give Walmart Grocery Pickup a shot,” Messing added.

@lisalacy Lisa Lacy is a senior writer at Adweek, where she focuses on retail and the growing reach of Amazon.