Kmart's 'Ship My Pants' Ad Causes Shockwaves and Smiles

By: USA Today Email
By: USA Today Email

(USA Today) - Sophomoric? Silly? Or a smart strategic move?

The jury is out on a new Kmart ad that uses slight of mouth to promote its shipping service. The online video shows customers who exclaim that they are going to "ship their pants" through Kmart's delivery program -- but it sounds as if those folks are using a vulgar word that rhymes with ship.

Some social media users have deemed the ad "gross" and "vulgar," while others gave kudos to Kmart for having an edgy sense of humor.

But even with the negative comments, Kmart got what it wanted: millions of potential shoppers now know that it has a shipping service. News networks such as CNN's HLN are reporting on the controversial ad, while the official YouTube video from Kmart has garnered more than 7 million views.

More than 14,000 Facebook users commented on the off-color video that Kmart posted on its Facebook page. That video also received more than 26,000 "likes."

"Great commercial, gets your attention and makes you smile. Good job," said Facebook user Norbert R. Gabby.

Yet, Melissa Clark Edgington commented on that Facebook page that she was "disappointed by the lack of character" that Kmart showed.

"I understand that times are hard, but if you have to stoop to shooting a commercial that isn't appropriate for my children to hear, then I think it's about time to shut your doors," she said. "Low standards equal a low quality business and low expectations. The ad just seems desperate."

That comment had 50 likes early Monday.

Facebook user Sean Farrelly acknowledges that the ad will upset and irritate some, but thinks Kmart will reap overall rewards. "For every 1 customer you've offended, you've gained 1,000 fans with this," he said on Kmart's Facebook page. That comment had 111 likes.

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