Keely Saves Money. Keely Lives Better.

She’s awfully yellow.

So, shot a commercial on Monday.

And it was for Walmart.

I shot a Walmart commercial.

My name is Keely, and I played a Real Mom who shopped at Walmart and took the Walmart Challenge.

And it was awesome.

I got this gig through an agent and my friend Bradford (thanks, Bradford!) and was able to go to multiple auditions because my neighbor and friend Angie watched the girls (thanks, Angie!) and spent the day at the shoot due to the generosity (and generous sick day policy) of my husband and his job. (Thanks, P.J.! Thanks, MSDS Online!)

The location of the shoot changed on Sunday evening, and I received a phone call from the producer. “It’s in Mount Prospect, Illinois,” he cautiously told me. “Do you know where that is? I think it’s past the airport.” Being that he was from California, it was a fair question. “Past the airport” could easily mean “Wisconsin.”

And my calltime changed from 8am to noon. Noon-ish, in fact, since they had a feeling it would be running a little late. (Running late before we even start? Awesome.) So I found myself leaving the house a little before lunchtime, giving myself plenty of time to get there- because, uh, I know me. I already missed Nora and the idea of leaving Susannah was like chopping off a limb. Plus, I suck with driving directions and was a little stressed with the [new] knowledge that they were filming the commercial twice. With two separate Moms. Which was not what the agent had told me, but which was apparently happening anyway. Because they wanted to take it in two different directions and would see which one “read” better. I wanted to be the Mom who “read” better. And that is why I was stressed.

Made it there in the nick of time- actually, the drive took twenty minutes, but I cheerfully veered onto the wrong highway and Google-mapped my way back to civilization in just under an hour- and arrived at the Jewel-Osco. That’s right, I met with a representative at the competitor’s grocery store and proceeded to buy a ton of groceries with a sweet lady named Alix. After we loaded up my haul, we drove over to the nearby Walmart and unloaded it all into Walmart coolers. I was sent into the staff break room to await directions…and found a ton people just starting lunch. I was told I could join them in eating. Which I did, making me feel like a total mooch. (This did not stop me from enjoying a very nice sandwich.) I did feel a little awkward, however, which is the only way to explain how I found myself quietly sitting against a wall and eating a bowl of iceberg lettuce with ranch dressing. (I abhor ranch, but didn’t want to cause a stir.)

The other Mom was there, too. She was really nice, though exhausted. In fact, they were ALL exhausted. Because they had been shooting the commercial with her since 7:45 that morning. And there were all sorts of technical difficulties. And they were cold. And they weren’t done with her shoot yet- not by a long shot. They did, however, have plenty of laughs and inside jokes with the other Mom.

So I sat and ate my lettuce and wondered if they’d ever have inside jokes with ME. (Short answer- no.)

Can you see where she’s miked?

About two hours later I was sent to hair and makeup. I was supposed to look like a Real Mom, just on my way to take the ol’ Walmart Challenge…but I think I was done up to look a lot nicer. In fact, I was wearing so much makeup and had such a pretty half updo that- even if my commercial were chosen- you may not even recognize me. No matter.

Finally, it was Ebony’s last shot of her commercial and the first shot of my commercial. Since they had filmed hers backwards, it was the same shot as the start of mine. When they switched over to me, I actually heard three crew members groan. (Tired/cold, etc.) I had sadness. But I overcame with Pep.

We did multiple hours of filmed whimsical price comparison (and for real, guys, IT IS STUPIDLY CHEAPER TO BUY NAME BRANDS AT A SUPER WALMART), and I got to feign surprise- which was, more often than not, actual surprise- at how much I could save at Walmart. There were shopping cart races. There was berating over how much cheese my family consumes. There were many, many deer in the headlights shoppers with incredibly daring outfits that continuously got caught on film.

There were also, sadly, many Jewel-Osco stickers on products that got accidentally filmed. And thusly could not be used. Many of those shots contained my bantery best. I started to lose hope [again] that my commercial would get chosen.

But overall, it was a really fun time. I got paid exceptionally well AND got to keep all of my groceries. Diapers for weeks! (Maybe days. Sigh.) Someone fabulous did my hair and makeup. And I still made it home to kiss the girls goodnight.

And I’m not kidding about that price comparison thing. I saved almost ten percent off of my Jewel receipt. (And that’s only the stuff that had an exact item-for-item comparison- it would have been more of a savings if I didn’t have such a predilection for Fage’s fat free Greek yogurt. Yet again, this penchant shoots me in the foot.)


If they chose my ad, it actually would have begun running yesterday. Or, I suppose, the same would be true if they chose the other gal. (I didn’t see mine. Although my method of checking for my commercial was to set up a camcorder and leave it pointed at the TV all afternoon. Very scientific.) If you live in the Midwest, you’ll see it. It may even run in other pockets of the country.

And, as soon as I go through my daily Sony footage, you’ll see it here.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some difficult-to-compare Greek yogurt to consume.

That’s some Real Mom action for you, right there.



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