Will ‘Shipping Its Pants’ Work for Kmart?
From a modern day advertiser’s standpoint, there’s almost nothing better than one of your commercials going viral online. The most recent and obvious case of a spot going viral is Kmart’s "Ship My Pants" spot. It promotes the retailer’s free shipping offer for consumers who want to buy a product and can’t find it in the store.
Since being loaded on YouTube, the 35-second spot has racked up more than 11 million views, not to mention all those seeing it on other pages. Another YouTube page, "Ship My Pants’ Kmart Ad: For The 12-Year-Old In All Of Us," had nearly 700,000 views of its own at this writing.
The spot’s undisguised bathroom humor involves a sales associate letting a male customer know that he can "ship his pants" right there in the store. The man’s wife and son are also excited about being able to ship their pants, as are an older couple, the woman saying, "I just shipped my pants and found it very convenient." Other shoppers follow, with one happy about having just shipped her (dresser) drawers and another pleased that he just shipped his bed.
There’s little doubt the spot, which has more than 52,000 thumbs-up and only about 2,300 thumbs-down votes, has been received favorably by the overwhelming number of people watching it on YouTube. Nearly 37,000 have “Liked” the spot on Facebook. A Google news search under “ship my pants” turned up more than 52,000 results for coverage of the commercial created by Draftfcb Chicago.
The buzz around the spot is a victory of sorts for Kmart, a chain that has received mostly negative press going back well before its merger with Sears in 2005. Whether this one spot translates into actual sales for the company is yet to be seen. One thing, however, is clear. The humorous spot represents a change in direction for the chain’s commercials. The question is whether it represents a change in long-term branding for Kmart or is simply a one-and-done tactic.
- Ship Your Pants – Kmart
- ‘Ship My Pants’ Kmart Ad: For The 12-Year-Old In All Of Us – YouTube
- Kmart – Facebook
Are there common elements among commercials that go viral online? If you were in charge of Kmart’s marketing, what would you do to follow up on the success of the “Ship My Pants” spot? Would you try to upgrade the humor?