Surprise! It’s from Walmart…

When you think of Walmart, do you think about steak? How about clothes? You probably answered no to both. While watching “re-runs” of the Olympics last night, I saw a Walmart commercial similar to their “Steak-Over” ad that has been airing for the past couple of months. Instead of steak, the behemoth company staged a boutique-like store filled with clothes from Walmart. Clips of shoppers saying how great the clothes were followed. Fast forward to the end, the “host” surprises the shoppers by announcing the clothes are from Walmart.

Is Walmart acknowledging that they have a brand image problem? Through these ads, they’re basically saying consumers have to be tricked in order to “like” a product that comes from Walmart. I completely understand their thinking. It’s not like it’s the first time a company has done this. Think of the many blind taste tests that have been done by food and beverage companies. Pretty much the same.

It was noted that the “actors” were compensated to appear in the commercial. It’s unclear whether they were hired to say what was said in the commercial or if it was truly authentic…and Walmart paid them afterwards as a thank you. Either way, this strategy of airing commercials showing consumers being tricked is not one that will produce results long-term.

On a side but related note, I’m a big fan of the show Master Chef. It became really obvious that Walmart is a sponsor when I see camera shots of the company’s branded tote bags filled with fresh produce (I’m assuming from Walmart). There was an episode where the contestant cooked steaks for some 100 cowboys (episode 12). Guess where the steaks came from. Walmart! Surprise, surprise…

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