Sometimes context doesn’t matter in advertising, but in the case of a new Walmart commercial featuring Daddy Yankee’s “Shaky, Shaky,” as its theme, it’s hard to ignore.
Walmart Peurto Rico launched a new ad featuring the 2016 hit. The “Shaky, Shaky” referred to eager kids shaking Christmas presents. It all seems harmless. But, if you know the history of the Daddy Yankee song, then, well it’s entirely different.
“Shaky, Shaky,” doesn’t have discrete intentions. It’s about shaking your ass all night long. Hence, why the chorus is literally just the word “Shaky” repeated nearly 20 times. I mean, look at the video, it’s clear what the intent is – which is fine for a rap song, but for a commercial featuring kids? Eh..
How did Walmart explain the ad? Well, Olga Reyes, executive creative director of Lopez Negrete Communications, the ad agency responsible for conceiving and executing the ad, told Billboard.com the song reminded her of her kids shaking presents.
“Music is a key element in the Walmart campaign,” Reyes tells Billboard. “And in this particular spot we needed to tell a story about Christmas morning, about finding the perfect gift and the kids opening the presents. As soon as I heard ‘Shaky Shaky,’ I could see in my mind the kids shaking those gifts. It conveys the wow moment of kids finding what they want. ‘Shaky Shaky’ became another character in the story.”
That’s swell and all, but with more than 600 million hits, the song is iconic enough that it’s going to be hard for people to hear it without thinking about its original meaning. The ad is fine, but the choice of music, while lyrically accurate, is uncomfortable.