Tagged 'manufacturing'

Walmart plays up the glory of American manufacturing

The economic downturn has fostered a certain type of commercial that aims to reassure Americans anxious about the decline of domestic manufacturing—that goods are still being made in America and that the marketer in question is helping to ensure this. There’s generally a portentous voiceover, reading copy that strives to be stirring and poetic. “The things that make us Americans are the things we make,” began a Jeep Grand Cherokee commercial that we wrote about back in 2010. “This has always been a nation of builders, craftsmen, men and women for whom straight stitches and clean welds were matters of personal pride.” Parent company Chrysler continued the theme with the Super Bowl spot “Halftime in America,” with Clint Eastwood telling Americans that “This country can’t be knocked out with one punch.” Levi’s centered artsy ads around the failing steel town of Braddock, Pa.

Now Walmart joins this list, promoting its investment of $250 billion over 10 years in products that support “American Jobs.” In “I Am a Factory,” we see a shuttered factory as Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs intones: “At one time, I made things. I opened my doors to all. And together, we filled pallets and trucks. I was mighty, and then one day, the gears stopped turning.” We see the factory comes to life again, as the voiceover concludes with determination, “But I’m still here, and I believe I will rise again.” Two other ads skip the declarations and rely on music instead: “Lights On” depicts a factory coming to life, and “Working Man” uses the Rush song of the same name, showing folks laboring in factories.

The ads won’t silence criticism of Walmart’s labor practices—Rowe has found himself defending the retailer’s initiative on social media—but may help retain some loyalty among a customer base that’s largely still grappling with the effects of the downturn.

The U.K.’s Stoves launches logo to promote ‘Made in Britain’ products

The British company Stoves is touting a “Made in Britain” logo as part of a campaign to “champion UK manufacture.” The company says there is “widespread confusion” among British consumers about which goods are made in the U.K. and that a survey shows a majority (52 percent) believe British brands should “bring manufacturing back to the UK.” British companies are free to use the new logo, which is the result of a contest Stoves held among design students.

Brands with a domestic heritage appeal to consumers worried about losing ground to foreign companies as the U.K., the U.S. and others struggle to climb out of recession and expand jobs. In a spot we wrote about last year, the narrator of a Florida’s Natural ad that plays up the juice’s “Made in the USA” status says, “People tell us they really appreciate we’re an American company.” And we noted some nationalism in a Morrisons commercial out of the U.K. that aired just before the royal wedding, with Scottish salmon and British beef among the products highlighted.

Patriotic boosterism is on the rise in the U.K. right now—business secretary Vince Cable just launched a “Made by Britain” project to showcase “manufacturing ingenuity and innovation.” Stoves’ initiative is interesting in that it goes beyond its own brand, although presumably the “Made in Britain” logo will help Stoves stand out in its category.

Photo Credits: www.stoves.co.ukMichael Francis McCarthy