Over the break, I saw a Walmart commercial selling “consumer items.” These items are aimed at a target audience of consumers rather than users because the items Walmart advertised are seasonal and not reusable. The goal of the commercial was to sell a festive, but wholesome atmosphere of a Halloween party.
The commercial started out with “How to Spookify Your Halloween.” In the video, a lady who appears to be a party host gives step by step instructions on how to create different treats. These are all consumer items because the decorated cupcakes, punch, and cookies are all food which is meant to be ingested today and thrown away tomorrow. However, what makes this food different is that these treats center around a Halloween theme, so these treats have an even quicker approaching expiration date than typical things you would find at the grocery store. The first way the video says you can “trick-out your treats” is to stick some lime-green and red spattered hand shaped lollipops, which appear to be homemade, into a chocolate cupcake (so the hand would appear to come out of the dirt). The lady also introduces colorful, fresh-baked monster cookies to the audience. The woman in the commercial mentions the cookie mix when the camera give the cookie mix and introduce white chocolate chips with brown dots that can be used for “monster eyes.” I wonder where you can get those chips? (Hint: It’s where you can Save Money. Live Better.) The mother calls these cookies “monsterlicious.” Even the language of the commercial is tinged with punny overtones, meant to appeal to the characteristics of the holiday. “You can make them a big hit with boys and ghouls” is a cute phrase that hosts can easily coin and use in their own Halloween parties. The lady in the commercial shows the audience members how to make party punch “creepy cool” by filling a non-powdered latex glove with water and freezing it. The frozen, finished product can be taken out of the glove and put in the punch bowl. By the end of the commercial, not only are the treats on display, but there are also orange cups, black and orange straws, and other miscellaneous items on display at the table.
Just like Dickens sells Christmas, Walmart is selling a an extravagant version of Halloween that is very palatable for its audience of adult grocery patrons and their children. The commercial attempts to convince the audience to go out and find the coolest way to out-do their neighbors for best Halloween decorations, which they can find at their local Walmart!
Here’s the link for the video!