A current web series from Walmart is combining the general format of the popular Shark Tank program with seamless, natural branding. The giant retail chain is behind Get On The Shelf, where individual entrepreneurs are competing for a chance to see their products end up on the shelf at Walmart.
Get On The Shelf has the same skeleton as Shark Tank: aspiring, inventive types stand in front of a group of important people and deliver a pitch stating why their product deserves the spotlight. Unlike Shark Tank, Get On The Shelf‘s contestants aren’t seeking gobs of funding, but a simple appearance in the chain’s stock. This fundamental difference removes much of the self-serving egotism present in Shark Tank, which, depending on your point of view, either improves the format or sucks out the fun part.
Here’s the first episode of Get On The Shelf, where the first batch of contestants pitch their ideas.
This is the first time Walmart has accompanied Get On The Shelf with a web series, but the competition also ran last year, when a fancy-shmancy water called HumanKind took the top prize. This year’s finalists include Elvis-themed bedding, “Sock Sacs“, two different types of lids, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Walmart will continue to roll out more competing items in upcoming episodes. Get on the Shelf is a pretty smart branded series in that it provides entertainment and a clear brand message without preaching. Also, when Walmart has one more multi-purpose lid in stock, the series may end up being practical, too.