Monday, April 15

I Shipped My Pants

There's a new advertising campaign from none other than KMart that is getting a lot of buzz all over social media as well as some broadcast news coverage.  It's actually quite good, to tell you the truth, and it had me laughing.

It's called "I Shipped My Pants."

Now why is this so darn good?

First of all, it started out as a "viral video" and got so much attention that the brand decided to use it on broadcast.  While not necessarily rare, it's an interesting use of "market research" to see if your advertising is going to resonate with your consumers.

Second of all, there's nothing unique about the product offering here.  The brand offers shipping from its .com site.  Don't they all?  Good example of what is generally the case ... all the functional benefits within any given category are generally the same from all of the competitors.  Generally.  Any .com e-commerce site will ship its products to you.

Which is the reason why you have to find a higher order emotional benefit to break through.  Now in this case it's good old fashioned potty humor, but hey it works.  Not solving world peace here, or healing relationships with your mother.  Just getting you to laugh as you consider engaging with the brand.

The other thing that struck me was the change in tonality for KMart.  I would never think of the brand as being funny or snarky ... it's not the brand character we would expect.  I guess the inconsistency breaks through the clutter, but it is very different from what we've seen from the brand.  I'm generally not a fan of inconsistency, but in this case we'll see if maybe this is a permanent shift in the brand's tonality in an effort to better connect with their customers.

In the end, it got me to think about KMart differently which is exactly the point.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur


  1. I thought the play on words was just brilliant for so many reasons. My kids love to use play on words to get away with saying things that would never be allowed in our home. I see all their friends doing it when they come over too. The most common one is "Shut the front door."
    There is nothing trendy about the ad but yet KMart reached out to a younger generation, who does not typically relate to KMart, because they spoke their language.
    One of our boys got up yesterday morning and announced..."I just shipped my bed" and we all started cracking up.
    Humor in advertising is just plain fun.

  2. The fact that they were able to cross generations is amazing! Jim.