Giant US retailer Walmart is winning plaudits in America over a new direction its advertising has taken. "Walmart has been called many things in recent years," says Adweek. "Inspirational has not often been one of them." But now suddenly that is the word.
First Walmart pledged to buy $250 billion in products made in America over the next 10 years "giving it licence to move into more high-minded, patriotic advertising—as seen in the Saatchi & Saatchi spot on the Olympics celebrating American manufacturing."
Now, says Adweek, the company has taken that patriotic stance and given it a serious emotional wallop in this remarkable new Web film from Saatchi, focusing on the story of Patrick—a true hero of an American factory worker.
Patrick was born with disabilities but found the inner drive never to give up. Despite setbacks, he persevered and chased his dream of simply being a worker.
"When I wanted to work, I got a job," he says in the voiceover. "It's a struggle every day. I still get up because work makes me feel like I'm reaching my goals. I'm part of a team."
Then comes the zinger. "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."
Remember another Saatchi New York spot about a man overcoming challenges—the famous Duracell ad with Derrick Coleman. ("They didn't call my name, told me it was over," Coleman says in that spot. "But I've been deaf since I was 3, so I didn't listen.")
Walmart has had image problems in recent years, but this new campaign is winning fans .One YouTube commenter reluctantly writes. "Seriously though, I dislike Walmart, but this was inspirational."