Kmart Goes Viral – Ship My Pants

6Kmart is probably not the first retailer that comes to mind when one thinks about funny, risky advertising, yet that is just what the company has done with its recent “ship my pants” video. The comedic video quickly went viral, gaining nearly 10 million views in its first few weeks and giving the brand a much-needed new image of risk-taking and humor. The key message of the video also firmly places Kmart in the sights of the millions of online shoppers who want quick shipment of their orders.

The new business unit at Kmart – called Shop Your Way Brands – ships close to 65 million products free to Kmart stores around the nation. While it doesn’t match Amazon’s reach with shipping, the new program positions Kmart in the same space as Amazon, Google, and Walmart for online shopping.

Shipping has become a critical value-add for retailers to expand online and enhance the shopping experience for both online and brick-and-mortar customers. Kmart seems poised to take action and gain market share with the new Shop Your Way service, and at the same time bringing some laughs (albeit a little risky) to consumers.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Before showing the video, ask students what the brand image is of several retail outlets: Kmart, Sam’s Club, Costco, Target, Kohl’s, etc.
  2. Then show the Kmart video: http://youtu.be/I03UmJbK0lA
  3. Ask students to describe the target market for Kmart. What is the key message in the video? How will this message meet the requirements of Kmart’s target audience?
  4. Follow this by having students look at Kmart’s Web site: http://www.kmart.com/?intcmp=xsite_SearsHoldings. How is the message reinforced and delivered on the site?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team do an analysis of Kmart competitors: Target, Costco, Sam’s Club, etc.
  6. Have students develop a positioning map of Kmart vs. competitors.
  7. Discuss whether the new “ship my pants” video will impact Kmart’s positioning within its target market.

Source:  Ad Age Daily, Brandchannel.com

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