New Walmart “Working Man” ad: what’s wrong with this picture?

Walmart advertising execs need a lesson in geography. And maybe irony.

Have you seen the new Walmart commercial? Pay attention at around the 50 second mark.

Wow, great stuff, huh? Nice story being told, and what a payoff – they’re going to invest $250B over the next ten years to “products purchased from American factories.” Setting aside for a second the probability that this still won’t result in jobs that pay a living wage, there’s something a little not quite right about the ad.

Do you know what it is?

Ahhh, right. I guess there are several possibilities as to why things went wrong here.

  1. Whoever produced the ad doesn’t realize that Rush, the band that performs the soundtrack tune, is Canadian.
  2. They think WE don’t know that Rush is Canadian.
  3. They think Canada is part of America.
  4. They’re being clever because they know that Canada is in North America and that makes them American.
  5. They don’t understand irony.
  6. They think we don’t understand irony.
  7. They’re too lazy to care.

Whatever, here’s hoping that as this campaign continues, they invest some of that $250B into ads about buying from American factories that feature, you know, American bands. Nothing against Rush – I mean, I love Rush – but … does this even need explaining? No? Good.

Back to watching the Olympics…..


UPDATE: So much for Walmart, but WTF was Rush thinking when it decided to sell out its fans?

12 replies »

  1. I figured it was something about how WalMart will only be buying American products if they don’t cost any more. The ad conveniently fails to mention that….

    • Oh, I’m certain that there’s a lot wrong with the actual program. Ask any company that does business with Walmart – they make your life miserable. If you’re managing to squeeze a nickel of profit out of the relationship, they’re going to keep beating you up on price.

  2. Nevermind that that at current Walmart sales, $250 billion over 10 years only equates to approximately 5% of total sales. Not very impressive when you look at the big picture.

  3. GREAT article Sam! First of all as a Rush fan I’m just pissed hearing my favorite song being used to advertise WALMART. At least the VW ad was kind of cool….You make some great points here so kudos!

  4. I’m selling my Getty Lee Fender Jazz BASS, all my DVD & Cd’s, my autographed RIO poster and Getty Lee BASS mag on eBay. Never thought this Band would sell out after all these years. It’s a SAD day for Classic Rock, SAD!.

    • Walmart might want to have listened to the full lyrics beyond “that’s why they call me the working man” because “I got no time for livin’ yes, I’m workin’ all the time. It seems to me
      I could live my life a lot better than I think I am” is not exactly about the Walmart workers being thrilled to work in a sweatshop factory production line!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I’ll buy your Rush memorabilia you are selling. BTW, if you are such a Rush fan, why do you spell Geddy’s name wrong, not once but twice

      • No Sp on my part – after the Walmart SELL OUT he is “GETTY” LEE in my mind as in ‘ Getting what he can from a China supporting Corporation claiming to back American workers and running to the Bank. Make an offer and we’ll talk.

  5. It seems to me
    They could pay a wage
    A lot better than what I make
    I guess that’s why I have two jobs
    They call me the working man

    They call me the working man
    Two jobs, no benefits, that’s what I have

  6. to the indignant RUSH ‘fans’, now that you have sold your collections and given away your memorabilia, you might want to sit down and calm down.
    They may likely have little control over the use of their music. Their publisher probably owns the ‘rights’ and would be the ones who decide who gets to use the music.
    Also, as RUSH ‘fans’ you probably know the lyrics and will laugh along, as the ninnies and the twits at Walmart and Saachi and Saachi think they have a great advert, and didn’t look past the title of the song.