They're better off to stay quiet and let the hoopla die down. Which
it will, eventually, if Walmart doesn't get heavy-handed. It's not
a site that's likely to do lasting damage to the brand, or help it.
It's a joke that's gone viral.
But my bet is that Walmart won't suck it up and be
a good sport. Time will tell.
Look closely, this woman is subtle (sort
The caption on this photo is "You know you
don't have to dress as the logo to shop there, right?" Look
closely. This woman is subtle, compared to other featured shoppers,
most of who are anything but.
People of Walmart
was launched in early August by 23-year-old Andrew Kipple, his
brother, Adam, 25, and their childhood friend Luke Wherry, 23. The
site has since gone viral, been covered in mainstream media, and
attracted more than 15,000 Twitter followers. There has been so
much traffic that they had to move to bigger servers.
We just want to have some fun
The founders say they draw the line at people who are
handicapped: "We don't make fun of people who can't help their
appearance. ... Let's face it; we all have seen the people who
obviously don't have mirrors and/or family and friends to lock them
in a basement, and they all seem to congregate at Walmart."
Humorless Walmart spokesman David Tovar declined to speak to
ABC News, saying that "it doesn't seem likes it's news that
there's a website that allows people to post photos on it."
Social media, defined
What gives the site its viral appeal is the universality of the
joke. The site makes you laugh and that makes a lot of people want
to share a good giggle with family and friends, as well as their
Twitter, Facebook and MySpace communities. In a nutshell, that
desire to share something you like, or dislike, defines social
"It's not everywhere that you can shop for milk at 10 a.m. next
to a 400lb mother of 6 wearing a pink tube top, leopard tights, and
hooker heels," says the site's "About" page, which also notes that
"This is purely for entertainment purposes and strictly limited to
the outrageously bad / ugly / creepy / crazy shoppers. ... We are
trying to have some fun here."
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B.L. Ochman is a marketing strategist and blogger and can be
found Twittering, at WhatsNextOnline.com or with her newest venture,