Please Stop the Snarking - Walmart Clown Commercial

There was a time I would have found myself invited to birthday parties where I'd hope to be entertained by funny men with brillo hair and brightly painted faces.   It was also a time my parents may have turned aside as I played with minature horses crowned with extremely sharp edges.  But when I want proof that era is far gone, I tune in to watch Walmart's new screaming clown commercial.  In one short sequence, the magical silver unicorns of my childhood are rebranded as ugly weapons, and the normally mute and smiling funny men that used to give me giggles can now clear entire rooms with their tortured screeching.  

This transformation from kiddie to horror show is the center of the 30-second piece introduced this week.  Within the world of the commercial, the show is witnessed by a woman whose main concern seems to be sharing shopping tips while her husband's honest effort to entertain and charm their child is met with complete and utter failure. Though this commercial doesn't represent the worst offense, it fits a genre I call disheartening.  I'm bored with the long-standing advertsing trend featuring scenarios where women wear smug smiles as they snark at their well-meaning but bumbling partners.  Yes, it's obvious that Walmart, and other retailers like it, knows its target audience consists of women, specifically moms.  But to appeal to women by insulting their husbands is a quick and easy strategy that does nothing but get a cheap laugh.

Of course, looking down my nose at this commercial could just be because I've developed a real fear of painted men in pom-pommed jumpsuits.

Walmart has been removing the commercial from YouTube, but for now, you can view it here.

Evil Clown Poster credit:  Allposters.com

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