Kmart Pushes Urban Boundaries With BTS Ads

Just months after its “Ship My Pants” went viral, Kmart is hoping to score again with sassy back-to-school ads, which give the classic schoolyard “Yo momma” jokes a mother-loving spin. 

But while “Ship my pants” tested Kmart shoppers’ taste tolerance for scatological humor (not to mention repetitiveness), the new ad pushes against racial lines. A group of playground fashion plates (mostly African-American or Hispanic) fire off “Yo Momma” lines at one another, reinterpreted as back-to-school shopping compliments for moms who shop at Kmart.

“Yo momma so fashion-forward, the future just called, they wants those hightops back,” says one kid. “Oh yeah?” she replies. “Yo momma so fiscally responsible she got all daat on layaway.” (We’re thinking there’s some class-bashing going on here, too. While there are doubtless a slew of mommas who’ll thank Kmart for offering layaway to help them through an annual financial pickle, they probably aren’t wearing it as a badge of fiscal responsibility.)



Kmart’s timing is interesting -- and not just because America’s collective nerves are jangling with racial tensions this week. Last month, a parody commercial of “Ship My Pants” featured a blatantly offensive play on the word “knickers” took off on YouTube, and was so close to a real ad that Kmart, owned by Sears, had to separate itself via tweet: “This is not a Kmart ad nor is this type of content endorsed by Kmart.”

Kmart’s back-to-school efforts also include exclusive deals for its loyalty club members, and the previously mentioned layaway program. It’s available both in-store and online and isn’t just free, but offers $5 in points to redeem the following week. Savings also extend to its bigassavings program (such kidders!) Those who spend $50 or more during the promotional period earn savings of 30 cents a gallon off gas. And a separate program links gas savings to a partnership with Procter & Gamble, enabling consumers who spend $50 on P&G products to save another $1 per gallon.

1 comment about "Kmart Pushes Urban Boundaries With BTS Ads".
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  1. David DeJesus from Washington Post Media, July 20, 2013 at 8:24 a.m.

    These ads register somewhere between cute and offensive for me. I should automatically either like or dislike...for me I think if they could have just gotten past the "Ebonics" it would have worked better.

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