Kmart Wants to Wish You and Yours a Merry ‘Birthday’
Even though it still feels like summer outside and it's only a little over a week after Labor Day, Kmart has launched the first of its holiday ads (check out the video at the end of this article to view the ad). The Christmas commercial, which Kmart insists is not a Christmas commercial, opens with a spokeswoman saying, "It's too early for Christmas.
"However, let's say you have an event in late December that you need a lot of gifts for. Like, maybe your entire family is having a birthday on the same day. Now's the time to go to Kmart and put those gifts on layaway," she says coyly.
Meanwhile, the ad features a large green tree, elves and reindeer pulling a sled, along with the slogan, "Merry Birthday everyone!" Very subtle, Kmart.
This isn't the first witty ad from Kmart. Over the last year, advertising agency DraftFCB has helped revamp Kmart's brand with viral hits like "Ship My Pants" and "Big Gas Savings." And now the "not Christmas" Christmas commercial.
While I'm not a fan of seeing holiday promotions before I've had the chance to order my first pumpkin spice latte of the season, I think this is a bold move from Kmart.
Last year, the retailer annoyed quite a few consumers by running an ad featuring a gingerbread and the tagline, "Don't let the holidays sneak up on you." Social media was in a fit and Kmart undoubtedly lost some customers. However, by continuing with the same ad schedule and format, Kmart has already created a social conversation about its brand, further increasing word-of-mouth publicity.
In addition, Kmart is one of the last big-box retailers to promote layaway services. While most big-box retailers discourage customers from using layaway or have gotten rid of the service altogether, Kmart revamped its program a few years back. Boasting new layaway promotions — no money down and no fees for contracts — shows the retailer still considers it important to its future.
While #Hallothanksmas appears to be consumers’ greatest pet peeve at the moment, it seems Kmart isn't the only retailer with Christmas on its mind. According to eBay, over 2.7 million searches for "Christmas" happened in August 2013. Consumers are concerned about the fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year in addition to being wary from last year's shipping fiascos. According to the National Retail Federation, more than 40 percent of consumers start their holiday shopping before Halloween.
What are you thoughts on Kmart's holiday promotion strategy? Let us know in the comments section below.