Posts Tagged ‘Forbes


Kmart’s Holiday Ad: Below the Belt or Missed the Boat?

Thanks to Jordan McNamara for contributing this article to The Side Note.

In a 2012 article, Advertising Age discussed Kmart’s shrinking presence in the low-cost retail field ( Annual sales were down, causing Ad Age to suggest the brand had lost relevance with discount shoppers. In the realm of discount stores, Wal-Mart dominates the low-price segment and Target holds the throne for hip, so where does this leave Kmart?

Over the holidays, Kmart and parent company Sears Holdings Corp. ( made a big jingle in the viral world with the release of the holiday “Show Your Joe” commercial.

Show Your Joe

Following last year’s “Ship My Pants” spot and “Big Gas Savings,” all created by agency DraftFCB, this indicates a major brand shift for the retail chain. Kmart’s Facebook page received many complaints from angry viewers, calling the ad “disgusting and not fit for family consumption” and “inappropriate for kids!!!” ( Many customers also accused Kmart of sacrificing family values and decency in exchange for cheap laughs.
Departure from their traditional ‘baby boomer’ demographic in pursuit of younger shoppers may be exactly Kmart’s intention. According to a Forbes article from last February, Kmart is focusing on improving sales within the 18-34 year old group (

However, Time reported humor is not an effective tactic for converting sales ( Although funny spots succeed at being memorable for consumers, they do not distinguish why the brand is better or what problem the product solves. “Ship my Pants” and “Big Gas Savings” have more than 30 million views combined views on YouTube, but Forbes reported 3rd quarter sales for Kmart were still down (

The Joe Boxer commercial may be the perfect example of funny, but ineffective. With more than 17 million views on YouTube, the ad has unquestionably garnered attention. However, the spot highlights only one product line available in Kmart stores rather than the Kmart brand as a whole. Plus, it lacks differentiation—what about these specific boxers make them so great? Why are they better than others? Why should I shop at Kmart for underwear? The ad does not answer any of these questions to make the brand or product relatable to the consumer. Both earlier ads by DraftFCB mentioned above do speak to benefits Kmart offers its customers, but the most effective ads connect with consumers on a deeper, emotional level.

Due to holiday shopping, fourth quarter sales can account for as much as 40 percent of annual sales for retailers ( With that in mind, Kmart needed a stellar season to climb out of the hole after six years of continually declining sales ( Numbers for 2013’s fourth quarter have not been released yet, but if third quarter sales are any indication, this ad will not be enough to sway shoppers away from other discount stores.

Kmart may have some big…er, bells, but that might not have been enough to fulfill this retailer’s Christmas wishes.

Do you shop at Kmart? Tell us what you think of the Joe Boxer ad here. Is your brand in need of an overhaul? The Weise team can identify problem areas and create a strategy to give your brand a boost in our Navigator session. Contact us. 


Duck Dynasty. When the Brand Goes MAD.

ImageI’ll admit it. I’m a fan.

A BIG fan. Every Wednesday evening the tv is on and my kids and I watch one of the best reality shows in America, Duck Dynasty ( The ‘characters’ are funny, I can relate to many of the stories since I grew up in the south like these guys, and there’s always a moral to the story that revolves around family and faith…huge parts of southern culture. I also love to see great success stories by great common people. But this is where my concern for the show’s success hits a pothole on the red dirt road. Are the Duck Boys starting to over saturate the marketplace? Every WalMart (, Target (, grocery store, convenience store, gas station and sporting goods store I’ve gone into lately has a display selling items with their faces on it. T-shirts, cups, plates, more t-shirts, hats, koozies, AND not to mention appearances on the red carpet at the MTV Awards (, CMAs (, ACM Awards (, etc.

Forbes ( recently reported that by the end of 2013, revenues from Duck Dynasty product tie-ins will have amassed $400 million. With holiday stocking stuffers on shelves, a new chart-topping Christmas cd featuring the Roberston clan caroling alongside country greats like George Strait, and rumors of a Duck Commander wine label coming in 2014, it seems everything the Robertson’s touch turns to gold (or is that camo?). So, what is it about this group of rednecks that America finds so appealing?

That very redneck humor and charm could be the secret. Every viewer may not relate to the Roberstons’ way of life, but they can identify with family values, prayer, and hard earned success—features I myself admittedly find appealing. Essentially, Willie, Si, Phil and family represent the American dream, something every middle American idealizes. Places like Target and WalMart are exactly where these ‘common folk’ shop, allowing big box stores to capitalize on the brand’s popularity. Plus, the even split of female and male viewers ( allows everything from cookbooks to coolers to be stamped with the signature brown and green camouflage.

Of course, this popularity won’t last forever. I believe the point of over saturation hasn’t come yet. With this quarter expected to be the largest yet for the Duck Dynasty brand, I guess the moral here (to mimic Willie) is to ride the wave for as long and far as you can. 

Are you a fan of the Robertsons? Tell us what you think of the Duck Dynasty brand here and on our Facebook page. 

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