Can a single 30-second TV ad change the perception of the world’s biggest big box store chain? No….although one 60-second ad did change things for a fledgling personal computer maker. But the new spot from WalMart that debuted during the NFL playoffs last weekend is having some effect. It became a viral video sensation this week…capturing the #2 spot on the viral video chart. Not because it’s a novel concept…but just because it’s just funny (some debate about that). I laughed when I saw it, and I think clowns are scary (along with mannequins and ventriloquist dummies….when you’re not watching them they are coming after you).
So, what does this all mean for the brand that many associate with bad labor policy, urban/suburban sprawl, the death of American manufacturing and ascent of China’s economic engine? Maybe nothing if it’s not backed up by meaningful steps, but a simple change in tone and personality has clearly had some effect.