LIVE OAK, Fla. — The Live Oak Walmart may have to add a third slogan.
In addition to “Save money. Live Better,” the store may need to add “Make videos” as long as Trenton Anderson and Terry Richardson are around.
The two local Walmart associates have spent more than a year shooting and producing videos promoting the store’s merchandise pickup. But now Anderson and Richardson have gone national after one of their videos turned into a national rap battle video produced by the corporate home office in Arkansas, featuring the duo and eight other associates from across the country.
“We make videos for Walmart all the time, promoting online grocery,” Anderson said, noting that Live Oak’s store currently doesn’t offer that service. “We created videos to show the higher-ups that we’re capable of having this grocery pickup also because we have customers that want it.”
So after about 18 months of posting videos on the local store’s Facebook page, Anderson and Richardson turned heads and caught the corporate office’s attention.
“When we got that phone call, I was shocked,” Anderson said. “I couldn’t believe they were actually watching. But the guy that gave me the call, Zachary, he said, ‘I’ve been watching your a whole year and half. I just wanted to see if you were going to keep pushing your videos.’”
From there, Anderson — who writes and raps the lyrics in the videos — and Richardson — who creates the beats, although he said when he’s creating the music he puts in his own words to help make sure it works — traveled to Bentonville, Ark., for studio time and a video shoot with the other artists from around the United States.
Each person that sang a verse in the song wrote their own lyrics, Anderson said, but all the instrumental music was Richardson’s work.
“It sounds good, real good,” Anderson said, adding the video has attracted more than 600,000 views on Facebook.
“It’s been awesome.”
So has the local reaction to their work.
Anderson said shooting the videos at the store has been fun, but also a little stressful.
The two love music and have worked together on songs for more than a decade. But most of that work was spent in a booth, not in public while trying to make a video.
“You’ve got customers walking in and customers dancing, you’ve got to stay focused and keep on going,” he added.
During one video, Anderson said a customer was trying to order a movie and after first appearing curious as to what the two were doing with the music, he suddenly started dancing along.
“I wanted to laugh,” he said. “But I kept my focus, kept going and it was awesome.”
Now after they’ve shot eight videos, plus the national one, Anderson said it’s getting harder to do the work because more people are aware of what’s going on.
But those same customers also have been the motivation behind the videos as well. Especially during those first months when they didn’t know anybody was watching.
“We started getting discouraged,” Anderson admitted. “Something in our heart said to keep on going and the customers that kept coming in, they motivated us. They’d be like, ‘When are you going to do another one?’ So I’d look at Terry and say, ‘Hey, let’s do another one. It’s for the customers.’ And he’d be like, ‘OK. Let’s do it.’
“We’re just trying to represent Live Oak.”