February 27, 2014
This one is a curiosity for me. Really there is nothing wrong with the commercial. It’s a call to arms if anything. Get America working again.
“At one time, I made things. And I took pride in the things I made. And my belts whirred. And my engines cranked. I opened my doors to all. And together we filled pallets and trucks. I was mighty.
And then, one day, the gears stopped turning. But I am still here, and I believe I will rise again. We will build things. And build families. And build dreams.
It’s time to get back to what America does best.
(caption: Over the next ten years, we’re putting $250 billion to work to help create new manufacturing jobs in America.)
Because work… is a beautiful thing.”
Walmart has removed the original commercial from their YouTube channel. Here is a CNN video of Mike Rowe discussing the controversy.
Mike Rowe, the cable TV host who did the voiceover for the commercial, has been under siege on his social media ever since the spot first aired. The advertiser, Walmart, has gotten more than their share of backlash from this as well. And I find it all very curious.
For years we’ve been hearing that we need to get the economy going. We need to get America back on track. We need to get back to work. But when one of the top retailers in the country makes a commitment to do just that, they are spat upon from people who might benefit from the new business model. Not to mention a few mainstream media outlets as well.
The way I see it, if this message had come from Kroger, or Home Depot, or Kmart/Sears, or any number of other retailers it would have been accepted and praised. But because it’s Walmart, perceived as being an unfeeling monolith that overworks people for little pay, the message gets received as corporate “propaganda”.
But people still shop there. Drive by any Walmart parking lot at any hour that the store is open… it’s full. And, even through all the whining and bickering, it will remain full.
Walmart should be praised for making this kind of commitment in assisting the rebuild of American industry. But more importantly, they should be held accountable for their promise. Over the course of ten years, you’ll be in one of their stores.
The commercial reminds of the opening scene of Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom”. (The clip below is not safe for work.)
Maybe we spend less time thumbing our noses at those who make these types of promises, and make sure we hold them to it.
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