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Facebook Users May Wish Frank the Fruitcake Shuts Up with Walmart Comments

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"Frank the Fruitcake" wants you to Like him--and hopes you'll use him on Facebook. The Walmart version of "Elf Yourself" wants to provide audible comments in your personal wall space. Hopefully you consider Bobcat Goldthwaite's voice to equal holiday cheer this Christmas season. The unwanted gift is ready for caroling or even dreidels in this very bizarre ad concept.
Frank the Fruitcake is the animated dessert no one wants. It's supposed to make him endearing. Or that seems to be the thought anyway. Walmart wants Facebook users to pass Frank around -- maybe just simply through feeling bad for him and his uselessness. Few like fruitcake. And few may be so fond of Frank either. Some may want him to simply shut up.
Walmart wants to be funny. But unlike a likeable elf, fruitcake doesn't offer quite the same dynamic of quirkiness as the "Elf Yourself" concept that Office Max has so successfully employed in its advertising. While the creative director at the Martin Agency responsible for creating Frank says Walmart "hadn’t really done this kind of loosey-goosey thing before.” The only problem is that Frank doesn't appear to be so "loosey-goosey" as just simply unwanted.
In part two of his debut, Walmart touts that "Christmas is here and with it comes holiday cheer, goodwill towards man.. and Frank." Please, Martin Agency, let your copywriter know that America doesn't need any help in the grammar department of screw-ups: In this nation, the gramatically correct use and spelling is "toward" not "towards". If the ad is bound for Britain, make another version, but please stop helping confuse the issue among both kids and adults. Frank probably isn't supposed to deliberately extend stupidity across the nation.
The fruitcake is "Maximus Grossoutus" in one video (either the ad agency or Walmart skipped noting the error that the title was apparently supposed to be "Maximus Grossmeoutus"). And Frank's lack of popularity shows him potentially devoured by ants in another online video of Frank -- aptly-titled "Ants".
In the "Yule Log" video someone wants to set Frank on fire after he's mistaken for a fireplace piece, though there may be other reasons rather than mistaken identity. And in the series of at least five questionably-humorous videos, Frank finally comes back to haunt people in his fruitcake afterlife in the "Ghost" of Christmas Past video -- though it just may be the current Christmas where he provides the most haunting.
Visitors to the Frank the Fruitcake website can send Frank to their own Facebook Wall or to anyone on that "Friends" list. Once Frank's on your wall space the fun is supposed to apparently begin, with video of Frank providing constant comments. The fruitcake gives Facebook users a running commentary that includes oh-so-enticing stuff like, “Looks like you have a lot of friends... Call them up. Come on over. We can go caroling, play dreidels, whatever.” Frank certainly covers a lot of holidays in his all-inclusive references to seasonal activities.
Whoever's responsible for Frank's creation seems to have missed the concept that fruitcake is -- if possible -- even less popular with Jews than those who celebrate Christmas. That is unless it's Jewish Fruitcake, the honey variety. And that variety is not the stuff Frank is made of. There's definitely a gap between the creative concept and its institution. And while skirting the edge of what's politically correct can be funny depending on use, throwing dreidels into this fruitcake mix just looks like the 'we've got every holiday covered' method of advertising. That method doesn't usually prove a successful one. It's all supposed to be amusing. Some may just find it insulting.
Frank's supposed to be “annoyingly charming” through the concept that he's the gift no one wants. Facebook users may find him simply annoying. If users want to hear Bobcat Goldthwaite's voice chiming in from their wall on a consistent basis, maybe some may find him charming. Something says that's not going to be the case this holiday season. Something also says that those who celebrate Hanukkah or other holidays may just find him even less charming.
Apparently Walmart is hoping that its only plug about the stores, referencing the spot as providing the gifts “that everyone wants,” will ensure that Facebook users don't see Frank for what he is -- an ad. And maybe a very bad ad. Walmart wants Frank to go viral, while customers may just see him as a virus to rid themselves of.
Frank wants popularity like OfficeMax’s “Elf Yourself” holiday campaign that's been running for over five years now -- the advertising that allows customers to paste pics of themselves onto an elf body for the Christmas season. That may be stupid. But not as stupid as allowing yourself to be actively yelled at, in your personal Facebook space, by Bobcat Goldthwaite -- the fruitcake nobody wants.

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