NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) said on Wednesday that it is rolling out a new advertising campaign with the slogan, “Save Money. Live Better,” replacing the motto “Always low prices” after 19 years.
The new slogan comes as Wal-Mart is incorporating more of an emotional tone into its advertising as it tries to boost sales at its U.S. stores.
Its back-to-school ads showed actors posing as customers, talking about how Wal-Mart helped them save money amid high gasoline prices, a contrast to its previous ads featuring a smiley face character zooming around stores, slashing prices.
Wal-Mart said it will begin running TV ads on Wednesday illustrating “how saving money on the little things adds up and helps families live better.”
The discount retailer is trying to revive its U.S. sales after its same-store sales rose at their slowest pace on record last fiscal year. Its back-to-school advertising campaign was accompanied by price cuts of as much as 50 percent on 16,000 items like backpacks and school supplies.
The results produced a higher-than-expected 3.1 percent rise in August sales at its U.S. stores open at least a year — its biggest same-store sales gain since March.
The new ad campaign also highlights the results of new research it commissioned from Global Insight. The report said that as of 2006, the retailer saves American families $2,500 each year, up 7.3 percent from $2,329 in 2004.
Global Insight said it found that the expansion of Wal-Mart from 1985 to 2006 led to a 3.0 percent decline in overall consumer prices as measured by the Consumer Price Index for all items, which includes prices for goods and services.
The research firm said its updated study concludes that the reduction in price levels due to Wal-Mart translated into savings for consumers of $287 billion in 2006, which is $957 per person or $2,500 per household.
Wal-Mart shares were up 2 cents to $42.96 in late morning New York Stock Exchange trading.