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Is This Walmart Commercial Inspirational, Wildly Manipulative, Or Both?

By / 03.20.14


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Over on Adweek, they’ve featured this latest spot from Walmart as their Ad of the Day, and it is truly inspiring. It focuses on Patrick, a guy with various disabilities, who nevertheless wills himself to get up everyday and make the most of his life. The thing that gives him purpose is his work: He works in an American factory.

“My whole life, people have been telling me I have a learning disability,” Patrick says. “I guess they’re right … because I never learned how to give up.”

No doubt, Patrick himself is inspiring, but given Walmart’s image problems — especially with the way it treats its own workers and how so much of its products aren’t made in American factories — it also feels cynical, crass, and manipulative, like their exploiting Patrick, his struggles, and his determination to obscure the fact that Walmart is lousy with supporting American manufacturers and factories, not to mention the fact that — as Adweek points out — that blockquote above echoes another line from a Duracell commercial.

Or maybe I’m being unfair. This is what marketing does, right? And I think that Bill Hicks has the best word on that.

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Source: Adweek


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