In September, Walmart debuted a new tag line: “Save Money. Live Better.” It replaced the 19-year old slogan, “Always low prices.” Walmart’s new ad agency, The Martin Agency, which it hired last January, is behind the campaign.
You probably saw the commercials. One shows a grandfather coming to visit his kids and grandkids, and the commercial insists that because the family saved money on the little things by shopping at Walmart, it could afford the big things, like flying grandpa to town.
It’s a nice commercial, but it continues to focus on Walmart’s prices—too much to stir much sentiment among viewers.
However, last week, the big box retailer posted a new 60-second commercial to its YouTube channel. This is a sentimental masterpiece, and it is an example of advertising as PR. The spot will help the big box retailer scrub that nasty image of Walmart as big, bad villain that gobbles up ma-and-pa shops and then puts ma-and-pa to work for slave wages.
Not sure if that image deserves to be scrubbed, but the ad certainly gives that impression.
It reminded me of the powerful scene from the movie Magnolia, when all the main characters sing the song "Wise Up" by Aimee Man—that is, if you pulled all the teeth from that scene, made the message upbeat and reduced it to 60 seconds. But still.