Ad-fail: Train wreck on aisle 9

When “paper or plastic” refers what kind of bag you’re going to heave into, you know the check-out aisle is in a Walmart. Or at least it’s easy to think that if you’ve seen the mega-chain’s "Fight Hunger. Spark Change." spot on YouTube.

Who knew irony could be an emetic?

The idea behind the campaign is that Walmart shoppers who buy processed foods from CPG titans of the General Mills, Kraft, Unilever league will know that money from their purchase will go to Feeding America food banks.

The idea behind the video is, as we’ve mentioned, to make you puke.

The video opens with an adorable girl with curly blond hair in that ubiquitous white-tiled yuppie kitchen thinking “Today I am going to fight hunger” and reaching past the fresh strawberries in the well-stocked fridge to grab a Capri Sun sugar bag. Then we cut to the pony-tailed brunette in a much more drab kitchen (Formica, oh the horror!) opening a refrigerator empty but for a splash of orange juice, some condiments and a wilted head of iceberg lettuce. Iceberg lettuce? Formica? These are the stories Whole Foods shoppers tell their kids to scare them.

So blondie is off to the fluorescent expanse to grab an appliance-sized box of Frosted Mini-Wheats—“We just have to buy food.” Ponytail girl and her mom are picking up donated food from the Springfield Food Pantry—“My family gets the food we eat.” We hear blondie think “We’re so glad we could help” and ponytail girl thinks “We’re so glad someone helped.”

It could be depressing, but everybody is so attractive! And the lighting is so flattering!

Then comes the kicker. Blondie and ponytail girl ride to school on the same bus. They’re friends! Blondie’s mom might even let her visit that less-than-exciting kitchen! As long as she stays away from the lettuce.

If you’re not throwing up already, the voice-over tagline should do it. “Hunger lives closer than you think,” the voice intones.

Yeah. It does. It lives right outside Walmart, as a matter of fact, in employee parking. This is the chain where employees hold food drives to feed their coworkers. This is the company whose employees got $6.2 billion in public assistance in 2013, some of that in food stamps, likely spent right there at Walmart, because the chain takes in 18 cents out of every food stamp dollar.

When the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” website tells us that “1 in 6 Americans may struggle with hunger,” you might wonder how many of those hungry people work at Walmart.

Sure, they are raising wages. All those people scraping by on $9 an hour will scrape by on $10 next year. Maybe they can get a few of the 75 million meals supported by food purchases by blondie and the shopping hordes.

The plan is to donate $3 million, according to a Walmart press release. Gosh, that’s more than two hours of Walmart profits! Three minutes more to be exact. That’s almost nine hours of the dividends for three Walmart heirs.

No wonder they need you to buy some Frosted Mini-Wheats to help feed their employers!

Feeling sick yet?

Paper or plastic?

TAGS: General News
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