- Walmart announced the Walmart Holiday Drone Light Show, which will use 1,000 Intel drones to create three-dimensional seasonal shapes and characters in a show choreographed to holiday music, according to a press release.
- The retailer will stage live shows at large venues, such as stadiums and racetracks, in eight markets throughout the country from Dec. 4-20. Those living elsewhere can watch a live performance on the brand's Facebook, Instagram and TikTok channels on Dec. 5 at 7:40 p.m. ET.
- The holiday light show is Walmart's latest experiential activation crafted with the socially distanced, contactless needs of the pandemic era in mind, after using its parking lots as drive-in theaters and as sites for Halloween and football tailgating events this fall and summer.
As the pandemic stretches into the holiday season, Walmart is using its latest event to bring some joy to consumers weary of 2020. The Walmart Drone Light Show is the latest in a series of activations that have sought to bring consumers together at socially distanced events, such as parking lot drive-in movies and football tailgate parties. These events have utilized Walmart's large parking lots as stores see less foot traffic, while also building goodwill with consumers facing stress and fatigue in a response to the pandemic's effects.
"After a particularly tough year, we want to help families end the year looking up. We want customers and communities to enjoy a moment of rest, peace and hope," William White, chief marketing officer at Walmart, said in the release. "From our summer movie drive-in to our Fall game day and Halloween experiences, we've been finding ways to help families enjoy seasonal traditions in a year when they thought it might not be possible."
Live shows will occur throughout December at large locations such as the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas; the Cotton Bowl in Dallas; Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, and 112 Drive-In in Fayetteville, Arkansas. A video preview of the events shows lights rising into the sky before transforming into seasonal shapes such as gingerbread figures, reindeer and Santa Claus. The events will include entertainment from local DJs and a holiday short from DreamWorks, titled "Trolls Holiday." While admission to the shows is free, consumers will be required to reserve spots from which they can view the show in their cars through the company's WalmartDroneShow.com website.
Intel publicly debuted its "Shooting Stars" drone light show technology during the closing ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympics. The drones have since been used during Lady Gaga's halftime show at Super Bowl LI. The tech company's social media posts touting the technology earned Intel the highest Facebook and Twitter engagement among the event's global sponsors, suggesting that Walmart will also be able to generate social media interest from its light show.