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Walmart Takes Big Role in 'Peter Pan Live!'

When NBC airs Peter Pan Live! Thursday night, Walmart will be flying high with Tinker Bell.

Walmart will be the most prominent advertiser in the three-hour broadcast and is the exclusive retail partner for the show.

NBC executives say the network’s second live primetime presentation of a well-known family story was a hit with advertisers. It sold out, drawing about $375,000 per 30-seond spot.

Advertisers like live programming because it is less likely to be recorded and time shifted, which makes it more likely that commercials will be seen, instead of being zapped with the fast-forward button.

In addition to airing its normal spots, Walmart will have custom on-air and online content created by NBC featuring Melissa Joan Hart, who is one of the retailer’s holiday spokespeople, and her real-life family.

Five Walmart vignettes will air during the show. They’ve been created to tie in to the action of Peter Pan Live! and feature products available at Walmart stores. For example, at the start of the show, Hart reads Peter Pan to her kids as a bedtime story in a vignette and they talk about pajamas.

Each vignette is punctuated by Tinker Bell, who appears as depicted in the live NBC production.

Last year, Walmart was a big sponsor of NBC’s live presentation of The Sound of Music.

"Walmart has been an amazing partner since day one,” said NBCU executive VP for ad sales Dan Lovinger. While live shows are tricky propositions, after doing Sound of Music with Walmart last year, “we understood what they were trying to do with contextually relevant spots. I think we nailed it even better this year.”

Lovinger said the broadcast is sold out with a broad variety of advertisers in other categories.

“It’s been great. We’ve had an unbelievable response,” he said. “There’s a lot of interest in live programming and the value that brings. There was no surprise at least to me that this was something people wanted to be associated with.”