Mr. Rollback having fun with his new fans and Walmart aficionados at Essence festival

*He doesn’t have a new CD. He hasn’t written a book.  He doesn’t have an entourage, but none of this prevented him from being one of the most celebrated new personalities at the 2010 Essence Music Festival.  What’s his claim to fame?  He saves shoppers money.  

Affectionately known as “Mr. Rollback,” Darrell Owens is the new face of Walmart and their unyielding commitment to “roll back” prices for continued savings for their shoppers.  

After debuting a series of national commercials featuring Mr. Rollback and the kinds of savings he delivers, this fun-loving, down-to-earth young man is not only gaining national recognition, he’s reinforcing Walmart’s key brand message.

Mr. Rollback is a real-life Walmart associate who manages a department in one of their stores in Virginia.  As part of the creative process to plan a new approach for their television advertising, they found Mr. Rollback, who originally conceptualized his moniker when planning a Halloween costume.  A few screen tests ensued but no promises were made.  Soon, he was invited to appear at a corporate event and insiders continued to take note. The process ensued and the rest is history.  

Now, he manages his duties in-store, as well as a growing schedule of demands including shooting commercials and making appearances on Walmart’s behalf.

Earth Wind & Fire's Philip Bailey, Café Mocha Radio's Angelique Perrin and Mr. Rollback

At Walmart’s booth at the 2010 Essence Music Festival in New Orleans this past weekend, Mr. Rollback was a featured personality, alongside Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson, the hosts of the new Café Mocha syndicated radio show- comedian Loni Love and Angelique Perrin, and a sea of visiting celebrities, including the likes of: LeVar Burton, who’s starring in a new Walmart TV production, The Jensen Project, Gladys Knight, Alfre Woodward, Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, young heartthrob Trey Songz, Marvin Sapp, Mary Mary and Kirk Franklin.

His energetic personality allured hundreds of captivated guests every hour. Mr. Rollback conducted free concert ticket giveaways; hosted dance and singing contests, and even invited guests to try their hand at creating a Walmart rap. And, he did what he knows best, encouraged people to shop at Walmart by visiting their retail store on-site. Guests were surprised to learn Mr. Rollback was a real Walmart associate.  Many came back every day to see what was new with him. Celebrity guests took photos with him. Even throughout the streets of New Orleans, people excitedly recognized him.   

“I had a great time in Walmart’s booth this weekend,” said Hallema Simmons, an author from Miami who frequents the festival. “Amidst a sea of activities to enjoy, I made my way each day to see what else Walmart had in store.  Mr. Rollback was a smart component.  He added even more excitement and was part of the reason I kept coming back.”

Time will tell what else is in store for Mr. Rollback, but if Essence Music Festival goers have their way; Walmart will keep rolling it back with none other than…Mr. Rollback.

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Whitney L. Bryant
Miles Ahead Entertainment