- Walmart and media company Tastemade last week rolled out shoppable streaming content to give viewers more ideas on what to cook at home during the holidays. Special episodes of Tastemade's "Struggle Meals" let audiences text an on-screen number to add suggested ingredients to a virtual Walmart shopping cart, and place an order for pickup or delivery, according to a press release emailed to sister publication Mobile Marketer.
- Hosted by chef Frankie Celenza, "Struggle Meals" aims to teach viewers how to make meals that save time and money. With health authorities urging people to avoid big indoor gatherings during the pandemic, the special holiday episodes show recipes for smaller get-togethers, such as Thanksgiving turkey burgers, cinnamon nutmeg doughnuts and tacos with holiday brisket.
- Tastemade began streaming the first holiday-themed "Struggle Meals" on Nov. 19, and will release the second episode on Dec. 17, helping Walmart to connect with potential customers. The episodes also are available at the "Struggle Meals" channels on YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook, and on Tastemade's Facebook, Instagram and TikTok accounts, per the announcement.
Walmart's collaboration with Tastemade on shoppable streaming content could convert viewers into paying customers by letting them immediately respond to the programming in a text message tied to a virtual shopping cart. Tastemade, which has 300 million monthly viewers, customized the "Struggle Meals" episodes to address the predicaments that many people face as they prepare holiday meals for the first time, or scale back festivities to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. The interactive feature helps to close the loop between seeing recommended products and ordering them directly from Walmart.
For Walmart, the shoppable content opens another direct sales channel as many consumers avoid stores. The chain has seen surging e-commerce sales this year, including a 79% gain in Q3 from a year earlier that far outpaced the 5.2% lift in total revenue to $134.7 billion. Amid heightened e-commerce, Walmart in September announced a plan to revamp many of its Supercenter locations to focus on a "digitally enabled shopping experience" supported by its mobile app. Earlier that month, the retailer introduced a paid membership plan that offers two-day delivery on thousands products for no extra cost, widely seen as a shot at Amazon's Prime membership that offers similar services.
For Tastemade, the collaboration with Walmart on shoppable content is a sign of how its programming can be more transactional as brands and retailers seek to push consumers further down the sales funnel. The platform has worked with a variety of brands on customized programming to advance their marketing goals, including brand awareness. Snack brand Pringles last summer ran a campaign on Tastemade and the media comapany's social channels to promote its chips that taste like Wendy's Baconator burgers. The campaign included two videos showing the Wendy's logo made out of Pringles chips and chili powder, and the Pringles logo crafted with bacon and ketchup. Before that, Hyundai sponsored a four-part series on Tastemade that told the stories of real people who had left their home states for the first time to embark on a fantasy road trip.