How Much Freedom Does $2,300 Buy?

Wal-Mart's new television ads promote "its health care plans, charitable contributions and positive impact on the American economy" in "unusually detailed terms." In one ad, the narrator says, "Our low prices save the average working family $2,300 a year. Which buys a lot of things -- and a whole lot of freedom." Wal-Mart's Robert McAdam stated, "These ads are more direct than anything we have done before." The New York Times' Michael Barbaro compares them to political campaign ads. One spot shows "Sam Walton's first five-and-dime store" while the narrator says, "It all began with a big dream in a small town." To Barbaro, the ad "evokes Bill Clinton's 'A Place Called Hope'" message in 1992. Wal-Mart's new spots were created by Edelman's ad agency, Blue Worldwide. The campaign-like feel may come from Edelman, which hired "former political operatives to develop a public relations strategy for the retailer."