Friday, January 15, 2010

It's Just LIke a Mini Mall - Montgomery Flea Market

There's more to come with South Carolina, but in the process I absolutely could not resist this.  Apparently there is a formerly little known flea market in Montgomery, AL off of South East Blvd (south side of US 29/80) in Capitol Plaza Shopping Center.  In looking at it, the shopping center overall has definitely been there awhile, and it has comparatively few chain stores these days.  However, what would normally have been just another strip mall flea market all changed when a catchy and hilarious advertisement was put on local TV for the store just recently.  It got so much attention that it was featured on Ellen DeGeneres.

I have never laughed this hard.  When he kind of bugs his eyes out one point in the video, I absolutely doubled over.  With over five million hits, no flea market in Alabama has ever gotten so much attention.  Needless to say this guy needs to be hired for a whole lot more advertising.  Maybe he could find a way to bring back nearby Normandale Shopping Center in the process.

View of Montgomery Flea Market and Capitol Plaza Shopping Center from Google Street View.  It's just like a mini mall!

Montgomery has an interesting and largely depressing retail history, so it was great to see a positive light cast on a largely faded retail corridor on the southeast side of the city.  Of course, the popularity of this video was obviously a perfect fit for a parody.  Family Guy spinoff "The Cleveland Show" had to get in on the action, having character Cleveland advertise for a flea market in fictional Steuben.  This version was pretty funny itself.


  1. Wow! This was pretty good, and I'll bet it's made a good bit of money for that place. I don't go to Montgomery that often -- maybe once every 3-4 years, since it's fairly long distance away and doesn't have much to draw me there. You're right about the retail there being a bit depressing. Montgomery Mall is dead, as I understand, but I remember one point in the 90s when it seemed to be doing better than the newer one, then saw it reverse again.

  2. Both versions of this ad were awesome. It'd be hilarious if someone recorded someone singing this song suddenly inside somewhere, the way groups like ImprovEverywhere(in NYC) have done suddenly improvised things in places you least expect(i.e. inside a big box store, in a mall, etc.).

    Maybe it'd work very well doing this inside a Montgomery, AL mall, if they do have a dead mall there. The security guards at it must need a good laugh over something that occurred at their mall, and to make them think a bit less about how dead their mall has become....

    -Allan(still trying to get my wordpress account to work again, ugh maybe I'll just set up a new account)

  3. Sammy Stephens is the singer. When this became ridiculously popular a few years back he was tracked down in airports to sing a chorus with people. For about 13 seconds the thing to do was apparently find him, convince him to perform and upload your video with Stephens singing about his flea market.

    He would later say in an interview that he saw a significant increase in walkin traffic, primarily from college kids on their way to the Gulf from a break. When something goes viral, you check it out. He did not say if they were buying things.