Mental Shavings Speaks. Wal-Mart Responds.

unsmileyface.jpgJust days ago, I called for Wal-Mart to stand for something more than “always low prices.”

Astoundingly, the company has already responded. (Talk about the power of a blog!) As announced yesterday, Wal-Mart’s new tagline is “Save Money. Live Better.”

Ouch. Not quite out-of-the-big-box-store thinking. And, creatively, it sounds more like a frustrated mash-up or a committee decision.

But, then again, “Just Do It” or “I’m Lovin’ It” were only empty phrases until Nike and McDonald’s gave them meaning.

Critics, of course, aren’t waiting for that. (Which must have made it a bruising day in Bentonville.) Here’s a small sample of what I’ve read over the past 24 hours:

This campaign is a 100% guaranteed failure,” says branding expert Rob Frankel, whose RobFrankel.Com is based in Encino, Calif. — MediaPost’s Marketing Daily

Neither managers nor employees had heard about Wal-Mart’s new advertising campaign, announced today, with one clerk asking this reporter: “Is it: ‘We all get raises?’” — Reuters

“They are basing an entire ad campaign around some sketchy figures,” said Nu Wexler, spokesman for Wal-Mart Watch, a union-backed group. — The Wall Street Journal

Before I was shown the door by a pair of Wal-Mart security types for “harassing the customers,” I tried in vain to find anyone who could tell me that shopping at Wal-Mart helped them live better. — LA Times

This new campaign was probably better sounding to [the] board than “Target is eating our lunch,” although the ad agencies were probably thinking that. — 24/7 Wall Street