Wal-Mart Takes on Everyone

Not only has Wal-Mart begun its organic foods push in an effort to take on Whole Foods and differentiate itself from Target, the company has also stepped into the social networking arena.

In order to catch the MySpace generation, Wal-Mart has launched The HUB (School Your Way). The attempt is pretty lame too. Sure "Hubsters" (not joking here) can create their own pages and upload video, but not without parental consent or Wal-Mart review before posting. It's actually not social networking at all. Though youth can create profiles, there's no interaction with other "Hubsters" (except voting on pages) and limits on what can be added there.

Of course we know that it's really a marketing campaign and not a hopeful MySpace killer.

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  • Tony Zinnanti

    We launched tweenland.com - a true tween virtual community - about a month and a half before WalMart spilled out this “thing” - a/k/a "School Your Way" -on their haphazard subdomain. Our stats showed 187,000+ gross visits in the first 14 days post-launch.

    Obviously I have motive to pump Tweenland.com. But, the WalMart site is seriously misguided. I'm particularly taken aback by the dude who walks up to the unsuspecting stranger and asks how long his armpit hair is. Cool?

    Be on the lookout for a tween-size spoof . . . . I got my wig out.

    In reality, activity on our site shows that tweens are funny, polite and interested While our site is fully moderated and constantly monitored, we have had little or no trouble with members or those posing as members.

    The kids on our site are actually a good - and growing bunch who know better than to unsuspectingly hand over their demographic and marketing information under the guise of “expressing” themselves..

    WalMart ought to take note and give their audience a little more credit.

    Tony Zinnanti
    Tweenland.com Adult Admin
    Paperless Commerce, Inc.
    27433 Tourney Road, Suite 160
    Valencia, California 91355-5601
    E-Mail: adz@paperlesscommerce.com
    Telephone: 661.309.3011

  • Robert

    Hey, WalMart gets so much grief for seemingly everything they do. By taking a closer look, this is a contest, not something designed to be a Myspace killer.

    If people want to fix the ills WalMart has supposedly created, maybe they need to start by offering what WalMart does...products quickly and inexpensively without being looked down upon by the people who work there (like most of your mall-oriented shopping experiences)

  • francois

    It is amazing to witness a company full of bright people come up with a copy of a product/service with all the missing ingredients for success.

    They are screening all the content and asking parents for their authorization. And you cannot email other members...how is that for a "social" network for teen :)

  • roger fulton

    you're talking about marketing to a social segment that once thought (and selected) Beverly Hillbillys the number 1 tv program in the land.
    This is NOT rocket science. As Mencken said, you cannot go broke underestimating the taste of the American people -- especially at Walmart.