Glidden Paint at Walmart {NSAC 2013}

UNT Gravitas, spring 2013

During my second-to-last undergraduate semester, I devoted nearly all of my time and energy to participating in the National Student Advertising Competition. As president of a team of 20 students, I lead the development of a campaign to promote Glidden paint sales and awareness in Walmart. In other words, we put Glidden in the carts and minds of Walmart shoppers. Cute, no?

When we analyzed our competitions’ ads, we realized that most household paint-related advertising seems… superficial. Is finding the perfect color really all there is to painting a house? None of Glidden’s competitors tapped into the feelings of home and ownership associated with decorating. Also, what about achievement? Everyone knows painting is difficult. Ads that say painting is a “simple” and “easy” way to update your home are lying. And we all know it. So we figured, why lie? It’s hard work. You did it. Flaunt it.

Our team spent some time flirting with these ideas of achievement and ownership, but we couldn’t figure out a good way to sum it up. Then one day listening to the radio, I heard an NPR story about the IKEA effect. The study it cited used a word I thought was very interesting — effectance.

Effectance is a term coined by Robert White that describes a basic human psychological need to know we can successfully produce desired outcomes in our environment. In other words, we need to know we can make a difference. The need for effectance is why people love their homes — it’s a place you’re in control. Whenever people make changes in their home, they are fulfilling their need for effectance. This discovery lead us to develop our marketing strategy: “To Aspiring Home Enhancers, Glidden at Walmart is the convenient guide that leads to effectance.”

Effectance explains why people paint their homes, but how do we motivate them to do it? We knew right off the bat that the convenience of buying paint at Walmart would make the painting process simpler — especially for low-to-mid engagement projects like repainting a bookshelf or adding an accent wall. And we especially wanted to tap into the accomplishment people feel when completing a DIY project.

We developed a concept called “The Glidden Brushie Award.” Using a paintbrush-shaped trophy, we created a multi-platform campaign that would reward consumers for their hard work while simultaneously engaging them with messages of home, family and ownership.


"For putting the final coat of paint on the nursery three hours before your wife went into labor. In your defense, the baby wasn't due for another week. It's like she couldn't wait to see her new nursery. When you're on a deadline, get all the advice and supplies you need at your local Walmart. Just look for the Glidden logo. Glidden gets you going, you get it done." "For getting over your breakup with a gallon of paint, instead of a gallon of rocky road. We get it. You need some alone time. Maybe now you can do something productive like paint that bookshelf you saw on Pinterest. Get all the advice and supplies you need at your local Walmart. Just look for the Glidden logo. Glidden gets you going, you get it done." "For painting the doghouse so well, it's where you prefer to sleep. Your wife asked you to repaint the cabinets, but you repainted Rusty's doghouse instead. At least he doesn't mind sharing. From the kitchen to the backyard, get all the advice and supplies you need at your local Walmart. Just look for the Glidden logo. Glidden gets you going, you get it done.

These magazine ads would be placed in Better Homes & Gardens DIY, All You (Walmart Exclusive), Real Simple & HGTV.

Our media plan also included blog sponsorships (A Beautiful Mess, Perfectly Imperfect and DIY Home Sweet Home), pre-roll video (, Hulu and, a microsite (, a mobile app, billboards and radio spots.

Blog Sponsorship - Glidden at Walmart {NSAC 2013} // Loryn with a Y Billboard - Glidden at Walmart {NSAC 2013} // Loryn with a Y

Our research showed that many Walmart consumers would just as soon prefer to find what they needed themselves, so we used a portion of our budget to revamp the in-store experience. We transformed the Glidden section at Walmart into a store-within-a-store to improve brand recognition and trust. It’s not Walmart paint, it’s Glidden. We also included a step-by-step guidance system and employee call button to help consumers move through the paint-buying process.

Finally, we used various outdoor promotions in the Walmart parking lot and surrounding communities to get consumers interested in the paint section. My favorites were paint department decals on the doors of the Walmart entrance, parking spots painted like Glidden paint chips and 3-D Glidden Brushie street art.

Parking Lot - Glidden at Walmart {NSAC 2013} // Loryn with a Y

At the District 10 competition, our campaign received second place, the highest scoring presentation and best media plan. I helped extensively with development of the strategy and the creative executions, and I also participated as one of the five members of our presentation team.

Also, if you read this entire thing, you’re awesome. Thank you.

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