GroundBreakers of Brick-and-Mortar: The Drive-In Strikes Back

Evelyn Aguilera
Sr. Director, Brand Strategy

What are they doing?

While the early months of quarantine led to streaming binges, home improvement projects, and a renewed interest in baking, the unknown timeline for stay-at-home guidelines and social distancing protocols required brands to get creative in order to engage consumers in new ways.

Big-Box giant Walmart created the Walmart Drive-In, a movie theater pop-up at 160 Walmart locations throughout the U.S. from August 14th through October 21st. This family-friendly, and notably free, experience quickly gained traction with many showings selling out completely.

How does it work?

Walmart’s custom-built experience allowed them to engage their local communities in a positive way during a time riddled with uncertainty. During financially trying times, this free, ticketed event provided a social-distance friendly option for families in their communities. GroundTruth visitation data trends shows that Walmart locations hosting drive-in movie nights saw 10% higher foot traffic during the evening hours (5-10PM) compared to nights where there are no movies playing. The increase in traffic to stores on these nights highlights that providing added value to communities is also good for business.

Certain Location-Based Audiences on GroundTruth’s platform came out for movie nights over others. Gen-Z, Stay-at-Home Moms, School Staff and Young Drivers are just some of the few audiences who were interested in this type of event and drove in for the show.