Walmart Begins Christmas TV Ads Extremely Early — Social Media Attacks
BENTONVILLE, AR — In the earliest launch of a Christmas advertising campaign ever, Walmart ran TV ads in all major U.S. and Canadian markets yesterday featuring Santa Claus finishing up his shopping.
The TV ads show Santa, Mrs. Claus and four elves pushing loaded Walmart carts out the door to a waiting sleigh. The male announcer says in a sing-songy voice, “If Santa’s just finished all his Christmas shopping at Walmart, isn’t it time you checked your list and came on down?”
The ad cuts to Santa ho-ho-ho-ing with Walmart greeters, then pushing a shopping cart over-flowing with tube socks and teddy bears out the door. Seconds later we see the packed sleigh pulled by 9 reindeer fly off across the parking lot as a deeper male voice, ostensibly Santa’s, says, “Save Money. Live Better. Merrrrrry Christmas.”
Social media reaction to the ads was swift and negative. Many were expletive-filled and could not be published.
“Thanks Walmart. I must have dozed off there. Thought it was only October. Assholes,” read a tweet from @tylerandco.
“Im goin to poop in a differant aisle every day til you stop the xmas ads. Two fuckin early man,” read an odd posting on http://www.hel-mart.com/
“What’s not to love about Christmas?” Walmart CEO Mike Duke told MSNBC as the first ads began running on shows such as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, SpongeBob SquarePants, Dancing With The Stars, and Duck Dynasty.
“Look, we’re getting some heat on Twitter and Facebook but we’re just so excited this year so we’re getting into the spirit early. Portraits with Santa are only $9…$11 if you want the extra wallet-sized prints.”
Duke says all 6,500 stores in the U.S. and Canada will have Saturday visits by Santa and hourly “rollback” specials on items ranging from toys to electronics.
“Look, the Amish are already taking orders for Christmas ducks and geese,” said Duke, wearing a tie with a Frosty the Snowman pattern.
“How are we different from the Amish?”
Walmart reported 2012 revenues of $469 billion.
Reportering for the Lapine.