The Marketing Word | Differentiation Marketing

Worst Grocery Store Commercial EVER

Recently I heard what might be the worst commercial for a grocery store EVER. If ever a commercial was designed to make me retract my stance on truth in advertising, this was it. I was listening to the radio (driving, of course – does anyone listen to the radio at home anymore?) when a commercial for Publix Grocery Stores came on. It went something like this:

“Walmart does not always have the lowest prices. Blah blah Buy One Get One Free blah, blah. In fact, with careful planning, you can sometimes save money shopping at Publix.”

I have to say, once I reassured myself that **yes – I did just HEAR that ** I was underwhelmed. First of all, the ad agency must have created this ad as a joke, a final flipping of the bird to their client’s demand for honesty and a low-key approach. I mean, they couldn't have been serious when they pitched this ad to Publix. But here’s the amazing thing. Someone in the marketing department at Publix listened to that ad and said, “Hey! Great! This will have them knocking down our doors.”

Kudos to Publix for deciding to take on Walmart head to head. But if you’re going to do that, let’s have some fun, dontcha think? Here’s my ad for Publix:

Cue Mayberry RFD theme.
Folksy male V.O.:

“Ya know, there’s a reason why there’s no website called Our aisles are not clogged with society’s misfits – people with their boobs hanging out, sometimes in the front, sometimes in the back, kids showing more ass crack than an elephant (who at least tries to cover it with its tail) or just plain people whose meds are not balanced and haven’t been for some time. In fact, most of the people who shop here look a lot like you and me. Most of them shower on a regular basis. Posted on every door is a notice telling you that shirt and shoes are required to shop here. It’s a grocery store where people buy food that they will ingest. Frankly, we don’t think that asking our customers to respect minimum health standards is such a stretch.

Our prices might be a little higher on some items, a little lower on others. And while Walmart might be a great place to pick up a shop vac or some extra rounds of ammo for the family barbecue this weekend, do you really want to buy your food there? We don’t blame you. Publix. Where shopping won’t make you want to gouge your own eyes out.”

Truth in advertising: Not as boring as it sounds.

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  • Tara Jacobsen · 04/12/2013 at 7:00 am

    Seriously, that would probably get me in the door! Next I want your take on the happy, friendly music playing in the background on drug ads while they tell you for 45 seconds how it will make homicidal, your hair fall out and could induce death!!!

  • Admin comment by Barbara Grassey · 04/12/2013 at 7:20 am

    I recently heard a jingle (must have been a fiverr job) for a guru that would have been more appropriate for an anti-depressant commercial. I wanted to commit suicide after listening to it!

  • Michele Anderson · 04/14/2013 at 4:44 am

    Barb! My husband and I watch commercials together and the only solace are the bad ones. The really bad ones, the ones that make us say in unison, “and they paid someone to come up with that… we want their job.” 🙂 You did good rewriting the Publix spot for radio. Someday, I’m hiring you to write for us. From home of course, and likely as a retirement project, too.

  • Admin comment by Barbara Grassey · 04/16/2013 at 10:21 am

    Oh yeah… having me write your ad copy. I guess you’ll use me when you want to close your business… quickly! But we could have FUN!

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