The 2017 Oscars had an unusual advertising campaign from Walmart. It was titled as you might expect from this site – ‘The Receipt‘. Each separate commercial was created by award-winning directors to be aired at the 89th Academy Awards, which was sponsored by Walmart.
The items listed on the receipt were
- Paper Towels
- Wrapping Paper
- Video Baby Monitor
Everything added up to $264.78 – with the most expensive item being the baby monitor at $169 and the least expensive .53 cents for a pound of bananas. (including $21.86 of California Sales tax).
I love the concept of telling a story with six items listed on a receipt. You could do the same with receipts found in the back seat of a car, on the roadside, or in your kitchen junk drawer, where many receipts end up.
Below is a behind-the-scenes video created to help tell the story of the Walmart advertising campaign. We’ve included a transcript as well. Enjoy.
(Transcript) — Walmart called and basically said, “We’re going to let you make a little mini-movie and you can create anything you want. You don’t get those calls that often for commercials.”
For their first sponsorship of the Oscars, Walmart wanted to create something as inspiring as the event itself, so we gave one Walmart receipt to four directors and told them make a short film about it.
“My first reaction when I heard about the project was, there’s no way they’re going to actually follow through with this whole thing.”
Four award-winning directors. We’re given a receipt with six items. The same Walmart receipt. The only confinement was also the freedom. To create three unique films to Premiere at the Oscars.
We promoted the idea like a true Hollywood project. The rule is you have to use the items on an actual receipt to show that behind every receipt there’s a great story.
Behind the scenes footage was released on national TV, and social channels, showing how the directors embraced the challenge.
“Made a man wear a banana suit, baby monitor and the scooters were for me. The two cornerstones of the storytelling. We wanted to embrace the randomness instead of fight against it.”
We created hype around the idea. Mine is going to be the best though. This is a competition right? Yeah! We win a Walmart right?
And got ready to go to Hollywood. On the day of the Oscars people weren’t just talking about the nominees, they were also talking about the receipt. And when the films finally premiered that night we blurred the lines between the movies and our movies.
— “And now, enjoy the first of three short films based on the same Walmart receipt.” (Above)
On a night that celebrates imagination and storytelling, the receipt became an event in and of itself.