Tv commercials

Inflation is everywhere, even in TV commercials

As consumers fret about rising inflation and high gas prices, advertisers have found a new approach to selling everything from wireless plans to Cajun chicken.

walmart Inc.

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Earlier this year it ended ads promoting items such as fresh food and clothing after concluding that inflation was foremost on shoppers’ minds. He quickly crafted new ads, drawing on footage from old campaigns to save time, with a simple message: Consumers are in a hurry, but Walmart is keeping prices low.

William White, Walmart’s chief marketing officer, said the retailer’s latest ads aimed to celebrate consumers’ ingenuity and tenacity in tough times, rather than reminding them of the state of the economy. “We knew people were changing their behavior,” he said. “So it’s important for us to be clear about the role we can play.”

“We’ve decided to deflate our prices because we don’t hate you,” Mint Mobile funder Ryan Reynolds said in a recent ad.


mint mobile

Some brands use inflation as an opportunity to poke fun at their rivals. Mint Mobile, the wireless carrier backed by actor Ryan Reynolds,

recently ran a campaign called “Deflation” in which Mr. Reynolds said the company would cut prices for a few months, while taking a hit from other carriers.

“When they announced they would raise prices due to inflation, we decided to deflate our prices because we didn’t hate you,” Mr. Reynolds said in the spot.

Others frame their campaigns around high gas prices. Bojangles, an American restaurant chain specializing in Cajun-seasoned fried chicken, ran a promotion in April that offered customers a $10 gas card with the purchase of a family meal of 12 or 20 pieces of chicken. The company said it gave out $1 million in free gas in 25 days and sold more family chicken meals during that time than it typically does during that time.

Gasoline prices are a “real sore spot” for people, said Jackie Woodward, chief marketing officer of Bojangles, which is owned by Durational Capital Management LP and New York-based private equity firm Jordan Co.

The word “inflation” appears six times in the 30-second online spot from RV rental service


Burger King France ran a similar promotion in March: it lowered the cost of its drive-thru Whopper burger to 1.99 euros, or just over $2, from its usual price of around €5 when petrol prices in France exceeded the €. 2 per liter (about a quart) for the first time.

US inflation hit its highest rate in more than four decades in June, fueled by soaring energy, housing and food prices. Rising costs are alarming to consumers as prices have remained largely flat for years.

Americans see inflation as the biggest problem facing the country, outpacing other concerns such as health care affordability and violent crime, according to a recent survey by Pew Research, which surveyed approximately 5,000 American adults in April and May 2022.

As talk of rising inflation and a potential recession reached a “feverish point,” RV rental service adjusted its marketing, said Jennifer Young, co-founder of Outdoorsy. It is now focusing on the cost savings associated with vacationing in a motorhome – no need to spend on flights and hotels, for example, she said.

Canadian restaurant chain Pizza Pizza spoofed ads from mortgage lenders, offering customers a one-year “fixed rate” pizza price.


Pizza Pizza/Zulu Alpha Kilo

The the word “inflation” appears six times in Outdoorsy’s 30-second online video ad that shows people enjoying the great outdoors.

Tally Technologies Inc., a fintech company whose app helps people consolidate all their monthly credit card bills into one payment, is running a TV ad showing people meditating while stressing over their debt. “Inflation is killing me,” one of the men says, as a woman chimes in: “I know, I’m totally freaking out.” A voiceover plugs in the Tally app and loans that help people get out of debt.

Some companies opt for campaigns in which they commit to keeping their prices fixed for the foreseeable future.

Online advertisements for the Canadian restaurant chain Pizza Pizza Ltd. promote a 12-month ‘flat rate’ pizza price, while a campaign by retail chain Old Navy promises to freeze prices for its Everyday Magic children’s clothing line until the end of September for back to school.

Both the Consumer Sentiment Index and the Consumer Confidence Index attempt to measure the same thing: consumer sentiment. The WSJ explains why the Federal Reserve is closely monitoring consumer confidence in 2022. Illustration: Adele Morgan

Old Navy, a Gap unit Inc.,

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has been plagued with inventory issues in recent months, The Wall Street Journal previously reported. The retailer declined to say whether its children’s clothing was particularly affected.

Recent research from Ogilvy Consulting, part of advertising giant WPP WPP -0.52%

PLC – found that consumers have little confidence in companies’ ability to understand what they are going through financially.

To win over consumers, brands must not only focus their advertising campaigns on inflationary concerns, they must also address them directly through pricing and promotion, said Paul English, managing director of Ogilvy Consulting.

“For example, if you’re selling hot dogs, don’t make me a 2-for-1 offer for 12 hot dogs,” Mr. English said. “Help me take my kid to the ball game I can’t afford anymore.”

Write to Suzanne Vranica at [email protected] and Katie Deighton at [email protected]

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