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WalMart Tries to Be MySpace, Badly
July 18, 2006 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Pending Approval, WalMart Horns in on MySpace, Badly
WalMart wants in on MySpace's lock on teen minds. So they've launched schoolyourway to give kids a place to "express their individuality" so long as the WalMart censors approve of it.
posted by fenriq (43 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I got into Friendster because my friends wanted friends online. I got into MySpace because my friends wanted friends online.
I got into blogging because my friends wanted friends online.
I got into therapy because my friends wanted friends online.
posted by parmanparman at 8:47 AM on July 18, 2006 [3 favorites]


Will the 12 year old Cambodian sweatshop workers be allowd a page?
posted by oraknabo at 8:48 AM on July 18, 2006


But you see, parmanparman, WalMart is just so convenient... you could've accomplished all that in one visit.
posted by defenestration at 8:51 AM on July 18, 2006


*sigh*
posted by craven_morhead at 8:54 AM on July 18, 2006


What makes me even more angry are the overpaid executives who are so sitting back and congratulating on how progressive they are being.
posted by geoff. at 8:58 AM on July 18, 2006


oraknabo, only if they make a video celebrating how wonderful WalMart has been to them and how they'd be eating dirt without the $2 for a 90 hour week they earn from WalMart.
posted by fenriq at 8:58 AM on July 18, 2006


But it won't change the shopping habits of Molly Morgan, 14, who goes to Wal-Mart only when her mom does to buy groceries and spends her monthly $150 clothing budget at Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and Nordstrom.

A MONTH?? $150 a month? I don't think I spend that much on clothes in a YEAR. What, does she grow six inches every few weeks or something?
posted by JanetLand at 8:59 AM on July 18, 2006


a subversive, ironic ad by a savvy teen on how her dad's hardware shop closed down after the retail goliath rolled into town would likely be "otherwise objectionable" to Wal-Mart.

If my prior exposure to PR gimmics like this is any indication, it's probably not even the anti-WM message that would get a page like this canned, but the fact that it's "subversive" and "ironic." There's nothing that corporate marketing folks like less than things that deviate from a universe typified by Jessica Simpson and "Friends" reruns.

Which is itself ironic, in that this whole project is a riff on myspace, which lends itself extremely well to countercultural subversion and individuality. Kudos to Wal-Mart for finding every possible way to make the world as homogenously milquetoast as possible.
posted by hifiparasol at 8:59 AM on July 18, 2006


I signed up and tried to "create my page", but...

**You are not eligable to
compete in this contest**

("eligable", LOL)

Anyway, I guess I'm too old (23). Oh, they'll let us old folks sign up, to get on their spam list, of course... but we can't be part of the uber-kewl teen hubster clique.

Excuse me while I go slit my wrists and listen to Linkin Park.
posted by bhayes82 at 9:04 AM on July 18, 2006


Welcome to the face of "Web 2.0"
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:07 AM on July 18, 2006


bhayes82,

Did it tell your parents you have joined?
posted by yeti at 9:09 AM on July 18, 2006


A MONTH?? $150 a month?

If you don't spend over $150 on clothes during a year, you must look like a slob. I spent that much on a belt buckle I don't even like anymore. I'm also an oil baron, if that matters.
posted by Falconetti at 9:10 AM on July 18, 2006


Myspace is the bukkake on the face of Web 2.0.
posted by Zozo at 9:11 AM on July 18, 2006 [12 favorites]


zozo wins.
posted by fenriq at 9:14 AM on July 18, 2006


What, does she grow six inches every few weeks or something?

No, but the fashion industry creates a new fad every six weeks or so...
posted by InfidelZombie at 9:18 AM on July 18, 2006


WHO’S BEHIND THIS GENIUS WEB DESTINATION?
The guys from Wal-Mart and Sony® teamed up to bring you all the sweet stuff you’ll find on the HUB!
Yeeeeeah. "Genius Web Destination."
posted by yeti at 9:18 AM on July 18, 2006


hummm anyone remember when WalMart tried to introduce their own brand of cheap computer? Yeah, this'll go about like that.

Seriously, what where people thinking? "Hey there's a poorly designed site with a buncha softcore porn disguised as dating service ads that teens like. Perhaps if we do it worse the teens will flock to us!!!"

Perhaps it's different in different parts of the country, but around here, Walmart is not exactly the place teens go to hang out. And, frankly has a rather white trash feel to it.
posted by edgeways at 9:22 AM on July 18, 2006


there is nothing to do here in the small town where i live. we have a walmart, how ever the teens of the town prefer the tractor supply parking lot. so, yeah walmart not exactly the place teens go to hang out , yeah.
posted by nola at 9:35 AM on July 18, 2006


I can't help sensing a little contempt for the whole project on the part of whatever copywriter crafted gems like these for the "profiles":

Dancing to the beat in hip clothes from Wal-Mart of my school cadence is how I will school my way! Sporting the A+ gear to match my A+ grades, what more can one ask for?? Wal-Mart allows me to reflect my personality in my colorful, loud, and trendy ensembles!

and

Well, I'm 6'1" and complexly simple. I'm a little old fashioned, a little tradtional, a little bit of everything. I love sports, life, music, movies, video games, phat clothes, the outdoors, motorcycles, fooooood...mmm...foooooood and women. I thnk I can achieve anything if I put my mind 2 it. I like to play/joke restle round, whatever you want to call it and make ppl laugh. Tend to take running jumps across that "line" that you maybe shouldn't cross to c how far I can go but 'times I go too far- ugh and stick my foot in my mouth and feel stupid. x x x x x x x x x x x
posted by staggernation at 9:35 AM on July 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


I've sat though too many meetings with executives and marketing droids, and heard them prattle on and on about ideas just like this one. All seemingly impressed by how hip they all were.
It's painful to watch middle-aged executives assume they are in-touch with kids. It's doubly painful to see something like this get green-lighted. You just sit slack-jawed in disbelief.

Wal-Mart needs to come to terms with the fact that the only reason anyone shops there is the illusion of low prices. No one will ever mistake Wal-Mart for a fashionable destination retailer. No kids will ever brag that their clothes come from Wal-Mart. At least not the kids this website is aimed for.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:38 AM on July 18, 2006


Wal-Mart allows me to reflect my personality in my colorful, loud, and trendy ensembles!

Kids don't talk like that. They talk like this:

"W-Mart allows me to 'flect my 'sonality in my kolorful, lowd, and trendy 'sembles.</
posted by Falconetti at 9:43 AM on July 18, 2006


Nobody ever got poor underestimating the taste of the masses.
posted by delmoi at 9:44 AM on July 18, 2006


MaoSpace. I imagine both of the kids that sign up will automatically have someone named "Liu" added to their friends list. "My name is Liu, my many siblings and I work very hard to bring you many fashionable clothing at reasonable price."
posted by MikeMc at 9:52 AM on July 18, 2006


I doubt even the creepy old men posing as teens would touch this.
posted by justkevin at 10:03 AM on July 18, 2006


That's incredible. Incredibly terrible. The skater dude video is just painful. So obviously scripted and badly acted. Yeah man! Don't conform! Shop Wal-Mart!
posted by loquacious at 10:06 AM on July 18, 2006


The guys from Wal-Mart and Sony® teamed up to bring you all the sweet stuff you’ll find on the HUB!

Wal-Mart and Sony you say? Be still my beating heart!
posted by kosher_jenny at 10:20 AM on July 18, 2006


"W-Mart allows me to 'flect my 'sonality in my kolorful, lowd, and trendy 'sembles."
posted by Falconetti at 9:43 AM PST on July 18 [+fave] [!]


Would you like a job?
posted by drezdn at 10:20 AM on July 18, 2006


$150 goes a long way at the Salvation Army.
posted by bcveen at 10:37 AM on July 18, 2006


"Shopping is, like, my number one thing."
posted by oncogenesis at 10:51 AM on July 18, 2006


"W-Mart allows me to 'flect my 'sonality in my kolorful, lowd, and trendy 'sembles.

Why you got to be ignorant all yo life?
posted by adzuki at 11:08 AM on July 18, 2006


When I was you kid's age......

No, let me try again.

When I was 10 to 20 years you kid's senior if we wanted our freinds to read something on the net we wrote it and then marked it up with HTML tags and we liked it that way!

I understand the desire for convenience, but there are so many strings attached to these things any more you'd think that most of their audience would decide they'd had it with this crap and go back to doing things the way we did them back in the day. I wouldn't put up with it for long and I'm allegedly well past that rebelious age.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:49 AM on July 18, 2006


Giving a 14 year old girl a $150/month clothes budget is the way to raise a spoiled bitch.
posted by ackeber at 12:24 PM on July 18, 2006


Nobody ever got poor underestimating the taste of the masses.

Everything is so clear now. Everything.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:36 PM on July 18, 2006


Remember this the next time you munch nosh at GSD&M during SXSW - this is their campaign.
posted by Jeremy at 1:59 PM on July 18, 2006


I shop at WalMart to rebel against my parents. Then I go to McDonald's. They hate that.
posted by craven_morhead at 2:38 PM on July 18, 2006


Man, walmart is teh coolest! It rawks!! This is soo much kewler than myspace.

Finally, yet another way for kiddos to brand themself.

Like this will complete with Target. Why doesn't Walmart start by keeping their stores clean and not offending everyone with their shady business practices?
posted by rex dart, eskimo spy at 2:48 PM on July 18, 2006


‘Your’ way kids! Now get out there and break some rules!*

*don’t actually break any rules.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:23 PM on July 18, 2006


there is nothing to do here in the small town where i live. we have a walmart, how ever the teens of the town prefer the tractor supply parking lot. so, yeah walmart not exactly the place teens go to hang out , yeah.
posted by nola at 11:35 AM CST on July 18 [+fave] [!]


What's funny is that the kids have hung out in that same parking lot for about 20 years, back when it *WAS* Wal-Mart. Then they built a Super Wal-Mart, and left that store, which became Tractor Supply.

So, that means it is the cool place to hang out. Or was. Or something. Where's my cane?
posted by Ynoxas at 7:21 PM on July 18, 2006


The real gems are hidden many pages deep. Round bout p.11 you start finding stuff like this:

i want to be cute a stafistacated with a nice attitude and elagant i want nice posture and always got something to ay

Indeedy, walmart clothes WILL help this individual look stafistacated.
posted by selfmedicating at 7:41 PM on July 18, 2006


Woah. Something worse than MySpace. Didn't think that was possible.
posted by liquorice at 8:56 PM on July 18, 2006


Seriously, what where people thinking? "Hey there's a poorly designed site with a buncha softcore porn disguised as dating service ads that teens like. Perhaps if we do it worse the teens will flock to us!!!"

You realize you just described MySpace's business model, right? Seemed to work OK for them.

Now, this is a terrible idea, and will fail miserably, but it's funny to read things like this:

Which is itself ironic, in that this whole project is a riff on myspace, which lends itself extremely well to countercultural subversion and individuality.

That's right, kids, you heard it here first, don't buy into the manufactured wannabe-hip Potemkin villages that Evil Corporate Wal-Mart's trying to sell you — stick with the real thing, brought to you by that revered countercultural icon, archetypal subversive ironist, and friend of the working man, Ruport Murdoch!
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:53 PM on July 18, 2006


s/Ruport/Rupert/, fuck.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:54 PM on July 18, 2006


It's almost beautiful how amazingly evil this is.
posted by gcbv at 9:02 AM on July 19, 2006


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