Amid 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
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- If Democrats abandon immigration reform after Tuesday's likely loss, they will turn 2016 into a debacle
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- What if Leo Strauss was right?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Israel's quiet doomsday submarines are almost ready
Subscribe to the Week