Nothing sells a product like good word of mouth. Walmart and Patti LaBelle learned that lesson over the weekend when a viral video praising the recent collaboration between the store and singer for a sweet potato pie created enough buzz that the pies are now sold out across the country.
Last Thursday, YouTuber James Wright – who had a number of reasonably popular videos before, but nothing like this – published a video entitled “My Review On Patti LaBelle sweet potato pie review.” That’s one more use of the word “review” than necessary, but as you can see in the video, he may have just been overenthusiastic as he wrote the title.
Wright’s song-enhanced assessment of the pie quickly went viral, racking up over a million views, and suddenly people couldn’t wait to get their hands on those Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pies. “For 72 hours, we were selling one per second,” Walmart representative John Forrest Ales told Yahoo! Food. Another Walmart salesperson pegged the pies success directly to the video. “The warehouse is also sold out,” he said. “You can thank Mr. James for that."
Walmart is doing everything they can to get the pies available again, but estimates they’d need “something like 2 million pounds of sweet potatoes, and that’s not something easy to get,” Kerry Robinson, vice president for bakery and deli at Wal-Mart told the Associated Press. The news agency notes that the pies will probably be scare leading up to Thanksgiving.
Meanwhile, Wright has already gotten calls from both Patti LaBelle and Walmart thanking him for his viral efforts. I wonder which call he found more exciting?