Have You Shipped Your Pants?

For message evaluation five I chose an ad that has become very popular in a short amount of time and is actually causing controversy around the United States. The Kmart commercial “Ship My Pants” is an advertisement which is focused on Kmart products but more specifically on free shipping of Kmart products to your home, and in my opinion one of the funniest commercials ever made. This commercial provides various testimonials of Kmart customers and how easy and convenient it was for them to ship clothes, furniture, and various other products when it was not available to them in stores.
I think that the Ship My Pants ad ties in most closely with the knowing wink ads. The knowing wink ads are defined in the reading as an ad that “communicates directly with the audience in obvious or subtle fashion, breaking through the theatrical “fourth wall” for comic effect”. Knowing wink ads are also said to be ads that make the audience laugh. Well I think that the Kmart Ship my pants ad has all of those components. This ad takes the word ship, which coincidentally sounds a lot like a word that means to relieve a bodily function, and inserts it into phrases about items which could be considered places in which you could accidentally relieve yourself. That is where the knowing wink comes in, the makers of this commercial and the audience knows that this is a play on words and most everyone finds it to be comical. At the end of this commercial the Kmart associate also breaks the “fourth wall” or speaks directly to the audience while looking straight into the camera. He breaks the fourth wall in order to tell the audience that if they cannot find a Kmart product while shopping in the store an associate will help them find it on Kmart’s website and have it shipped directly to your house, which much like relieving yourself in your pants is convenient, fast, and free.
The VALS scale is one that measures a consumer’s Values, Attitudes, and Lifestyles and splits up all consumers into eight different categories; the category that I think is the target for this ad would be the Experiencers. The experiencers are the youngest category in the VALS scale with an average age of twenty five; it also says in the reading that they are interested in new products and service which is exactly what Kmart is offering in this advertisement. It is common knowledge that Kmart is not a high end store and because of that we can assume that many of Kmart’s customers are young adults who are trying to get great bargains on products that they may need or want. It is also known that sometimes store run out of products and it can be a hassle for you to either come back another time and check again or try to find it somewhere else. With Kmart’s new service of free shipping to your home you no longer have to worry about the inconvenience of them not having a certain product at the location where you shop because they can simply look up the product that is out of stock and have it shipped to your house for no extra charge. With Experiences being interested in new products and service Kmart’s Ship My pants advertisement could have easily been made for that segment of the VALS scale, because they are offering a new service to customers that shop in stores. This service is going to save the Experiencer more time and because of that he or she will be able to spend their time exercising or at a social activity which are two ways that they enjoy burning off all of their extra energy.
However not everyone finds this commercial comical and a few find it downright offensive, as is with many funny ad that may incorporate a play on words and could be considered inappropriate, there are parents and parent based organizations that want the commercial banned. I do not think that this commercial will be banned or forgotten anytime soon.
I think that this advertisement it very successful, Kmart being an ever dwindling business has gotten more attention in the last few weeks then they have probably gotten in the last year. The humor that this commercial is based on is a great way for advertiser to draw attention to their company and their product. Especially the over the top goofy humor that is evident in this advertisement. This commercial may not be appropriate for children of a certain age but the target audience of this advertisement is not children. The focus audience of this ad can be anywhere from teenagers eighty year old, because a wide variety of people find this kind of joke funny this commercial is marketable to a very wide population. I think that this ad is very persuasive in that in uses humor to draw the consumer’s attention to the company and to the new service provided. Honestly I cannot think of one thing that I would do in order to make this ad more persuasive. I think that the simplicity and humor of this just the right combination for this advertisement and for Kmart as a company.

-Miranda Haifley

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