Kmart #shipmypants proves that clever and edgy outdoes star power on social media


Kmart Ship My Pants

Kmart has had a tough time in recent years getting attention. They have tried to find success on social media, particularly on YouTube, but in the last year they’ve only had one video get more than 100,000 views. Five days ago, they put up a video that has had more views than the combined totals of dozens of videos they’ve put out over the last three years.

This one got a lot more than anything they’ve ever seen.

They’ve had videos with UFC stars like Wanderlei Silva and  Matt Hughes, country singers like Rascall Flatts and Jason Aldean, and pop stars like David Cook and Demi Lovato. They’ve tried how-to videos showing people how to create towel critters or how to fold a fitted sheet. They’ve even tried to latch onto popular entertainment franchises like Star Wars and TLC’s Extreme Couponing. Nothing has worked. They have never been able to buy, beg, partner, or coax their way into the status of “going viral” on YouTube.

Then, they tried something different, and it should act as a lesson to any businesses hoping to use videos in their branding. Rather than spend the money on celebrities or try to be helpful with how-to videos, they decided to get creative. They took it a step further and took it to the bold side of risque. With 8 million views and counting only five days after launching, their “Ship My Pants” video is making its rounds across the web having achieved viral status.

Will some people get offended? Certainly. There’s really no way to say anything anymore without offending someone. Right from the start, they catch your attention with the clever play on words and they don’t let it go until the end. This video is branding perfection. They picked the right actors, put together a flawless script, and executed on it all in 36 seconds which included the awkward hug at the end that holds your attention just long enough for the brand’s logo to be embedded firmly in your mind.

When they have Walmart on the real world side and Amazon on the virtual side, it’s necessary for them to get aggressive. They took a chance and it worked beautifully. Businesses don’t have to be that clever to find success, but it definitely helps.

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