Walmart’s holiday deals campaign nicely rolls up several current trends while trying to give consumers a reason to look forward to Mondays, when many have to leave the freedom the weekend provides for jobs they may not enjoy doing.
By bringing together the cast of “Office Space,” Walmart plays into nostalgia for the early 2000s. A campaign spot released on YouTube on Oct. 27 had 2.5 million views as of press time. It depicts at least one Initech employee working remotely and includes an appearance by singer Michael Bolton, who was the object of jokes in the film. Actors Gary Cole and Ajay Naidu reprise their “Office Space” roles as corporate manager Bill Lumbergh and rebellious tech worker Samir Nagheenanajar, respectively. A similar callback to the era is evident in a new tie-up between Kraft Mayo and Juicy Couture that launched this week.
By pushing Monday deals, Walmart addresses a broader movement away from the traditional notion of Black Friday, when retailers have traditionally promoted some of their biggest deals of the holiday season. However, in recent years, consumers and retailers alike have expressed dissatisfaction with the frenzy of Black Friday and a desire to spend the day after Thanksgiving with family and friends instead of shopping. This year, retailer REI said it would permanently close all stores on the day after Thanksgiving going forward.
Walmart takes into consideration current economic woes with its new campaign by promoting savings and value, a broad trend across retailers this holiday season. Concerns around inflation and price increases have retailers worried that holiday spending will dip. By focusing on deals over an entire month, Walmart may be able to entice consumers to spend more and shop with increased frequency.
The retailer has taken steps to expand its advertising capabilities for brands as an alternative revenue source in the months leading up to what is predicted to be a tough shopping season for retailers. Additionally, its Walmart+ subscription program shows the retailer competing directly with Amazon.