Kmart’s New Brand Direction in Commercials

Kmart is jumping in head first with a series of humorous online commercials to shake it’s image as a dingy, outdated, and irrelevant discount store. I like the juvenile approach, because it tickles my adolescent funny bone, which doesn’t get much use these days.

The ads take me back to my teenage years while working as a stock boy at a grocery store. An elderly couple came up to me and the woman leaned toward me quite seriously and asked, “can you tell me where your hard-shelled seeds are?”. That may not sound humorous, so replace “hard-shelled seeds” with the word “nuts” for an accurate quote. I had no coping skills at that age for double entendres in that vein, so I burst out laughing.

The couple complained at the service counter and the store manager reprimanded me later, but I could tell we had a shared understanding. That’s what humor does…it creates an instant and memorable bond, whether it’s between people or people and businesses. Done well, it is the most effective way to get a brand into a consumer’s long term memory.

Whatever you think of the ads, I will be reminded of them every time I pass a Kmart.

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