Walmart gets real

As part of its efforts to strengthen its digital footprint, Walmart has launched its first-ever original reality series developed specifically for the Web. 

The new weekly Web series highlights 20 finalists in the Walmart Get on the Shelf contest, which encourages entrepreneurs to present products to Walmart customers.

Each week, four different finalists will showcase their products in an effort to gain public votes and get their item sold on Walmart.com, and possibly in Walmart stores. The five weekly "webisodes," which go live on Tuesdays from Sept. 24 through Oct. 22, feature a group of finalists under the same theme, such as Kid Stuff or Great Gadgets. The webisodes give viewers a chance to learn more about the entrepreneurs behind the inventions and watch as they pitch their product to a panel of Walmart.com judges.

After each weekly webisode, voters have 72 hours to cast their votes for the winner, who will have their product sold on Walmart.com. A grand prize winner will also be selected based on the number of preorders of the product, and will receive additional support marketing from Walmart.com plus an introduction to the Walmart stores' merchandising team to potentially be sold in Walmart stores.

"Get on the Shelf celebrates the resilient and tenacious spirit of American entrepreneurs, many of whom have been working hard for a big break like this," said Kelly Thompson, SVP of merchandising for Walmart.com. "The Web series creates more exposure for finalists to share their inspiring stories, which makes for captivating reality TV that's also interactive since American consumers can vote for the next great product at Walmart.com."