What's that Underfoot? ...No, Not a Bell.


"We're opening more lanes than ever ... to make Christmas shopping easier!"

Given what happened at its Long Island location, I think it's sorta weird that WalMart's still airing this ad. I saw it at least eight times this weekend -- and each time, without fail, it brought to mind the Black Friday Death Trample.

In it, lights from open aisles flicker to the tune of Carol of the Bells, which always struck me as a semi-creepy song anyway. (Don't make me explain why.) But now it also rings with the heavy panting of crazed, slightly overweight bargain hunters, indelible red splatters ... and the cracking of bones.

The spot first aired during the 2007 holiday season. Co-workers claim a woman was trampled then too, but that's cool because she was "a repeat stampede faker, from what I read," one dutifully disclosed.

WalMart, what good are extra checkouts without an orderly entering and exiting process? Stampedes don't organize themselves.

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The most likely reason the ad continued to run is that the CMO, ad agency and/or tv reps were all away on holiday.

But while I am at it, why does the Capital One Bank ad with the push pin falling from the sky keep airing in NY? The imaging is too close to those of 911? Didn't they do any copy testing?

Posted by: Catherine on December 1, 2008 1:38 PM


FROM: Walmart Corporate
RE: The Great Black Friday Stampede

Despite our great concern for our customers and their well-being, any efforts to prevent another unfortunate mishap like the one we experienced this past Friday would necessitate coordination of opening, security, staffing and other considerations. This would require an expenditure at some point, and that expense would reduce our ability to provide prices lower than any other retailer.

How on earth will we continue to provide American consumers with a great retail monopoly that drives smaller competitors out of business while preventing fair union organizing and wages if we have to spend more money?

Let the lemmings come! A few will get squished, but hey - most will be fine, and it's all about volume, isn't it?

Posted by: lokisez on December 1, 2008 2:43 PM

"Carol of the Bells" is a bizarre holiday song. Set in minor key with an urgent rhythm, it doesn't suggest pleasure or relaxation, peace or togetherness, or any of the other things we're supposed to imagine the Christmas season is about -- it seems more like a warning. Here come the bells; get under cover fast, or you'll be found dead with all your orifices crammed with tinsel and a look of unspeakable horror on your face.

Posted by: Warren on December 1, 2008 3:38 PM

If you were wondering how last week a crowd of New Yorkers could stampede
into a WalMart and crush a minimum-wage worker (probably part-time temporary
with no health benefits) to death...

They did it for FUN.

It was an event. The media told us so. They interviewed them. Every year
Americans line up hours, sometimes days early to make sure they're the first
on line for the tickets; or the phone; or the book; or just to get that
early-bird 12-cent bargain on the seasonal Xmas icecube trays. To maybe get
interviewed on teevee.

It's an event. It's a tailgate party. It's an all-night hooraw in deck
chairs and sleeping bags.You get to BUY something before anyone else. Except
for those other 2000-odd people on line with you.


So it was all in the spirit of FUN that those people pushed into that
WalMart and ran into, and knocked over, and trampled that poor young black
kid, hard up enough for a job that he had to go to work at WalMart, to
death. Just fun gone a bit awry.

GAME OVER for that dude.

And those jolly stampeding folks will get over it soon enough. They're
probably all back to shopping and preparing for their HAPPY HOLIDAYS without
a thought in their heads. They will not lose one minute of sleep to regret
or remorse or guilt. I would, but I'm a pussy.

It's not like they actually KILLED anyone. Wait a minute - they actually
did. But no charges have been filed so it's not like it really happened.

They will trample YOU to death for FUN, too.

Posted by: SODDI on December 3, 2008 1:17 PM

why not the follow? need your assistance

Posted by: p.,pierod.d.s. on December 3, 2008 1:24 PM

Wow, Warren, you really nailed my Carol of the Bells issues. Thanks.

@Piero: follow what, now?

Posted by: Angela on December 3, 2008 1:43 PM