Continuing the film-centric ad campaign it introduced on last year’s Oscar broadcast, Walmart has lined up three directors who will turn out a trio of 60-second branded shorts: Nancy Meyers, Dee Rees and Melissa McCarthy.
This year’s spots all revolve around the retail giant’s signature blue shipping box, adding their own interpretations and styles to tell their stories.
In a related move, Walmart will offer funding for Women in Film’s Catalyze program, which supports up-and-coming female filmmakers by teaching them skills and helping to advance their careers. As part of the sponsorship, four emerging female film teams will receive funding to create, produce and distribute short films.
Three WIF Catalyze students will have the opportunity to visit the sets of the “Box” films to shadow Meyers, Rees and McCarthy during production.
During last year’s Oscar broadcast, Walmart rolled out the first 60-second spots, which revolved around the theme “The Receipt” and were directed by Marc Forster, Antoine Fuqua and the tandem of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. In addition to some puzzled tweets from viewers trying to make sense of the ads, the company got some blowback for the fact that all the directors were men. With #TimesUp front and center throughout awards season, it would be even dicier to follow a similar path in 2018.
Here was a tweet last year from Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday, along with responses from Walmart and a popular industry handle The Director List:
Variety had the first report of this year’s directors.