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Walmart links holiday-centric rom-coms and social commerce in its new shoppable series

The news: Walmart plans to launch its first shoppable video series—a holiday-themed romantic comedy called “Add to Heart”—on Roku, TikTok, and YouTube.

  • The 23-part series weaves the retailer and 330 shoppable products throughout its plot, which revolves around a New York designer who returns to her hometown for the holidays. After losing her luggage, she visits her local Walmart to buy necessities, where she encounters an old flame.

The context: There’s a flood of interest in shoppable media among major streamers, connected TV manufacturers, and streamers.

  • Walmart alone has produced hundreds of shoppable livestreams and other videos. It has also experimented with a variety of shoppable formats across a range of platforms, including on Meta, Snapchat, and NBCUniversal’s Peacock (where it is offering shoppable ads on the “Below Deck Mediterranean” reality series).
  • Others are also testing the technology. For example, TV-maker Vizio and Home Depot recently launched the “Merry & Bright” shoppable series that showcases how to use Home Depot products to decorate homes for the holidays.

Consumers are responding. The number of US shoppable media buyers is expected to jump 5.7% this year to 94.2 million, according to our forecast.

  • Our forecast defines US shoppable media buyers as digital consumers who, after engaging with online media content that has immediate purchase options, take actions like clicking through a call-to-action link on a livestreaming video or scanning a QR code on a connected TV.

The big takeaway: While it is still early days for the channel, shoppable media has rapidly emerged as a vital part of the advertising ecosystem.

  • Given that the rules of the road have yet to be written, marketers would be wise to experiment with a variety of tactics to gain an edge on the competition.