Vintage interior in Washington Mutual ad

Uh...California.

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runchadrun
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Vintage interior in Washington Mutual ad

Post by runchadrun » 28 May 2006 22:29

A new Washington Mutual ad takes place in a store with a vintage interior. The department signs are in all lower case with large color stripes and dark wood. Below the "bakery" sign it appears to be windows. Despite the vintage interior, the floors look brand new. I couldn't identify any store brands and the only brands I could easily identify were Fiji water and Barila pasta.

In the past WaMu has shot its commercials in the LA area. The Northridge branch was where a lot of the in-bank scenes were shot where there are large arch windows. It was also a few blocks from the now-former Southern California HQ. (As an aside, the Circuit City ads are all shot at the store that's about a half-block from the WaMu branch. I stumbled across a shoot one day.)

Below are shots from the commercial. I took pictures of my TV screen but you should be able to see the detail.

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Post by danielh_512 » 28 May 2006 23:10

I'm suspecting this is an indie, considering that the signs above the aisles have no mention of a store's name. Since Washington Mutual's banking operations are all on the West Coast, and I see a sign of large windows in the front of the store, I'm suspecting it may have been a Safeway in a past life, but I'm not positive of that.

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Post by danielh_512 » 28 May 2006 23:14

This same store (w/the same font and all) was featured in another television ad recently, I believe for 7Up.

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Post by runchadrun » 29 May 2006 00:00

The windows under the bakery sign look like they are this shape: /\/\/\ though not as sharp of an angle. (Is there a term for this shape?)

It also appears to me that those windows may be on the side of the store, not the front. The store may have the layout that's 90° rotated from more modern stores where the checkstands and the front of the store are on the long end of the box, instead of the short end.

Also, in the last picture you see two ovals above the dairy case on the right. The one that overlaps the other looks like it's a b&w old picture of what a dairy department looked like many years ago. Same goes for the first picture where you see a small part of it to the right of the guy's shoulder. It's not too clear in these pictures but it is there in the commercial.

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Daniel
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Post by Daniel » 29 May 2006 03:23

Yes, this supermarket has appeared in a few other ads. I don't recognize the interior from any specific chain, but I am unfamiliar with the 70's interiors of Vons and Ralphs so those might be possibilities.

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Post by Jeff » 29 May 2006 13:36

It looks almost like a stater brothers interior. But there are none east of the 605 Freeway.

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Post by dcgrocery » 30 May 2006 00:35

Don't know the chain, but this photo itself isn't extremely old. On the wall behind the man at the managers desk is a Verifone Tranz terminal used as an employee timeclock (they also make the familiar credit card verification devices). They were most common in the 90's. I agree with the person that noticed the floor is newer. If you look closely at the ceiling in the middle picture you will notice that the rows of sprinkler heads don't match those in the area with the windows. My guess is that the store was expanded at some point and the original entrance to the store (and checkout lanes) was where the windows are. Those beams could indicate a hidden marina arch that was covered by a drop ceiling. I get the feeling the burnt orange and brown signage dates between 1977-1980.

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Post by runchadrun » 30 May 2006 08:08

My guess is that the manager's stand in the ad was a set. I didn't take pictures of it, but in the commercial there is a brief shot of the checkstands (the old round type that rotates) directly behind that stand, which makes no sense in the real world.

I also noticed the beams and different ceiling heights, indicating a possible expansion.

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Post by dcgrocery » 01 Jun 2006 03:36

Hi Runchadrun. Thanks for these photos. Would it be possible to post any others from the commercial? Or do you have a way to upload it to Youtube? I'm very fascinated and appreciate you sharing them. Recently in Virginia I saw an office with a sign "Washington Mutual Home Loans". Is this a relation?

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Post by Dave » 01 Jun 2006 07:09

dcgrocery wrote:... Recently in Virginia I saw an office with a sign "Washington Mutual Home Loans". Is this a relation?
Yep, same guys. I've seen WaMu commercials here in Richmond (I beleive on cable), so I believe it's a national campaign.

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Post by runchadrun » 01 Jun 2006 10:25

dcgrocery wrote:Hi Runchadrun. Thanks for these photos. Would it be possible to post any others from the commercial? Or do you have a way to upload it to Youtube?
I saw the ad while watching TV through my DVR on Sunday and paused it so I could take the pictures, and these are the only ones I took since they best showed the decor of the store. Unfortunately I don't have a video of it. My DVR only has an HDTV output so it's all but impossible to pull video off of it other than using a video camera to shoot the screen (and I don't have a video camera).
Recently in Virginia I saw an office with a sign "Washington Mutual Home Loans". Is this a relation?
WaMu is a huge bank out here in the West and are based in Seattle, hence the name. They gobbled up the 4 largest S&Ls in California (Great Western, American Savings, Home Savings, Coast Federal) over the course of a couple of years and I believe they have been trying to expand their retail banking nationwide.

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Post by danielh_512 » 02 Jun 2006 00:32

Washington Mutual is a nationwide company for home loans (as are many banks), but only has branches on the West Coast. First Horizon is another bank (known as First Tennessee in Tennessee) that has territory beyond its banking for loans.

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Post by Edric Floyd » 02 Jun 2006 10:12

danielh_512 wrote:Washington Mutual is a nationwide company for home loans (as are many banks), but only has branches on the West Coast. First Horizon is another bank (known as First Tennessee in Tennessee) that has territory beyond its banking for loans.
Washington Mutual has branches in the Atlanta area and in South Florida.

My sister lives in Ft. Lauderdale and she has an account with Washington Mutual. They have had branches in Florida and Georgia for at least the past 5 years.

Washington Mutual was one of the sponsors of the Atlanta Gay Pride Festival. And they have branches all over Atlatnta.

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Post by Barcelos » 09 Jun 2006 18:54

If someone with more freetime than myself cares, they may try to get in touch with the advertising department for WM through their corporate switchboard (5:00am to 5:00pm PT Mon-Fri - 206.461.2000)

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Post by rich » 09 Jun 2006 22:45

Washington Mutual has offices of various sorts all over the country. They are the former "Home Savings" of L.A. Given that there are a lot of S&Ls called "Home Savings", they went with a different name. They have a lot of mortgage-only offices in their retail banking territories (like Atlanta) and in places where they don't have retail banks (like DC). This sort of thing seems to be more & more common--National City Bank of Cleveland has developed a big mortgage business in DC since the early 90s, but has no retail banking offices there.

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