Who shops at Kmart anymore? Not very many people and less and less it would seem, as stores are closing rapidly. Last year Target launched a viral video campaign to promote its ship to home service. The ad titled “I Shipped My Pants” created a frenzy in the media. Multiple sources picked up on it, and it even drew criticism from the conservative lobbying group, One Million Moms. The video was a success as it generated discussion about a brand that had fallen out of sight.
The company followed up with big gas savings; another tongue in cheek video. Finally, their Christmas campaign revolved around a new video playfully titled, “I Shipped My Trousers” and it featured characters from A Christmas Carol
While the ads themselves were well executed, Kmart continues to struggle. Many of the problems: aging unsafe stores, outdated products persist and buying in result are not shifting either. A good gimmick is just that, a gimmick. It is unfortunate that the company spent so much time on generating buzz without taking time to fix foundational issues. I predict the company will be all but out of business in ten years.