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Montgomery man featured in Walmart’s ‘Lean on me’ TV spot

Updated: Apr. 7, 2020 at 11:15 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A Montgomery Walmart employee made his national television debut over the weekend as part of a television commercial.

The 1-minute ad doesn’t feature any items for sale. It’s focus? Five employees, or “associates" as the company calls them, each singing a portion of the late Bill Withers’ hit 1972 song, “Lean on Me.”

It’s the last associate of the piece with an Alabama connection.

Watch here, or below.

A man identified only as Darius from Store 5348, the Ann Street location, brings the commercial to a close, singing “We all need somebody to lean, lean on” as he walks through the store.

The mega retailer’s campaign is part a nod to Withers, who died last week at 81, as well as an acknowledgement of its employees during stressful times in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The idea for the ad came about after a group of associates came up with a way of encouraging each other through song. It created a chain reaction across the country, and other other associates joined in to sing their version of the song to each other.

“We’ve seen our communities come together in inspiring ways,” Walmart said. “And as our associates have shown, there’s more than one way for us to lean on each other.”

It wasn’t immediately clear how the five finalists were chosen. Darius was unavailable for an interview, a representative said when asked, because of how busy the stores are currently.

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