mid news that Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart, will lay off 11,000 workers due to stiffening competition, the mega-retailer has released a new TV commercial (watch below) that's raising questions about the heretofore upbeat company's direction. The scene: A child's birthday party. The twist: A father dressed in a clown get-up from budget-minded Wal-Mart is about to surprise the small guests when he accidentally steps on a metal toy unicorn — and erupts in a prolonged screech of pain, as traumatized children flee. While some have praised the ad as "hilarious," others call it "creepy" and wonder if its "dark humor" is the right approach for the low-priced retail giant. What do you think?
SEE MORE OF THE WEEK'S COVERAGE OF WAL-MART
• Walmart rage: 6 legendary shopper meltdowns
• Walmart vs. Netflix
• Walmart's discount coffin controversy
• Walmart's big Black Friday surprise
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why we need a maximum wage
- Why Antonin Scalia was right to defend a drug dealer
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- The sexual politics of Game of Thrones just got enormously worse
- Why Narendra Modi is not a shoo-in to become India's next prime minister
- Why Mindy Kaling — not Lena Dunham — is the body positive icon of the moment
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 9 ways music can improve your life
Subscribe to the Week