A promotional video made entirely by CalArts graduates was recently removed from Walmart's website -- and they say they have no idea why. The video was an advertisement for "Very Private," an FDA-approved feminine moisturizer that makes intimacy more pleasurable for those experiencing vaginal dryness.
Walmart had issued a challenge to small businesses on Jan. 19 to create a video promoting a product -- and a group of CalArts graduates made the 'Very Private' video, humorously calling their production team, "I have a headache."
The videos were supposed to be put online as a part of Walmart's Get On The Shelf initiative, in which the public was directed to vote on its favorite video. The winning business would get its product on the shelves at Walmart, a clearly fantastic business opportunity.
The video was produced by Ian Samuels and featured staff entirely comprised of CalArts graduates (from the actor to the grips). Seeing as CalArts has been ranked the best art school in the country, it may come as no surprise that the video was arguably more aesthetically pleasing than other ads.
Sherry Lansing, former chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, said in a press release that "this 'Very Private' video is so clever and well-shot. I love it. The video deserves to win the Walmart Challenge."
However, the video did not win, nor did it make it onto the website. Although the video was previously approved by the competition, the url was taken down apparently without any explanation. The woman behind the "Very Private" product, Jacqueline Brandwynne, told HuffPost Arts that she tried to get in contact with Walmart, but to no avail.
"The turn of events that our video link was disengaged just a couple days before the competition is very surprising. I don't know any more than that," said Ian Samuels, the video's producer. "We were in touch with Walmart early on, and since the link was removed we lost all contact."
But ultimately, he said he did not see any reason for the removal. "We found the ad had to be flirty and fun and clean to best represent the product. We wanted it to be acceptable to any audience. Something that a kid could watch, something that could play on TV or the Internet without controversy."
So what happened? A quick look around the Walmart website gives a clear sense of which products the mega-company will and will not stock. While it does carry condoms and lubricant, it does not carry birth control, emergency contraceptives or vibrators.
Walmart spokeswoman told HuffPost that the removal of the video had nothing to do with the product itself. So what was the issue, then? "The last 10 seconds ... there was a little bit of a wink," Lester said. "We didn't think it was in Walmart's taste. Basically [it was] the last five seconds."
See the video below and let us know your thoughts. Is the bit of a wink a bit too provocative?
UPDATE: A Walmart representative noted in an e-mail to HuffPost Arts that there are Trojan vibrating fingertip massagers and Durex vibrator-condom packs available in their store and online.