November 20, 2013

Why the New Kmart Commercial is Advertising Genius.

There’s a new controversy brewing in Twerkdom.

Kmart recently released a holiday commercial selling its Joe Boxer underwear brand in a rather unique way. It involves pants free men shaking their business to “Jingle Bells” while flaunting Joe Boxer apparel.

If you have yet to see the latest “Show Your Joe” ad, allow me to share this amusing endorsement with you:

My first reaction was straight out laughter. This is, undoubtedly, one funny ad. My second thought was, “Okay, how long until the backlash on this one?”

I find it interesting, and disheartening, that our culture barely blinks an eye to the provocative use of women in advertising (even going so far as to suggest rape in some advertisements), but throws its arms up in disgust when men are the chosen eye candy.

It’s commonplace for women to strut across our televisions screens in barely there underwear and seductive moan faces, all in the name of advertising, yet in this promotional spot, the men are mostly clothed, wearing shirts, shorts, socks, shoes, even suit jackets, but it has been deemed too provocative by some critics simply for the gyrations.

Double standards need not apply here; you’ve just been given a promotion.

Words like “outrage” and “disgusting” have cropped up in protest. If people don’t like it, I get it. I find myself annoyed at the violent show promos and provocative lingerie ads that litter my television too, usually during football or the daytime when my kids are in the room.

My solution: I shut it off or watch an hour long DVD of Caillou which, in and of itself, is just as distressing.

However, handsome men flaunting their flanks in a non-aggressive comical way doesn’t offend me. Rather, it’s the violent, abusive or despicable masculine displays prevalent on the TV dial that outrages me. That’s disgusting. And it serves to overshadow all the good men out there.

The real winner here is, of course, Kmart, who managed to marry sexiness and humor in a clever way. Their wittiness paid off with their commercial going viral through social media and garnering a huge amount of free press, mostly because of those offended by it.

Irony in action.

What do you think of the “Show Your Joe” commercial?

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Editor: Catherine Monkman


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