Many of us have seen the recent ads for K-Mart – that stuff-mart type store that somehow never has gone out of business (if you see the one where I live, you’d understand where I coming from judging by the amount of cobwebs plaguing the furniture setups). Kmart, founded in 1962, has been through some rough, rather bland marketing years, but in the past year, Kmart has done something rather – ingenious. It has offended people.

Now, don’t get me wrong – offending people isn’t always a good thing. Just look at JP Morgan’s recent marketing blunder, #AskJPM - http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-14/jpmorgan-twitter-hashtag-trends-against-bank.html  that happened last week.  But Kmart has put themselves out there with their controversial marketing, and while it’s not directly “restoration marketing” related, it’s important to realize that in marketing – you just can’t please everyone. And by not pleasing 100% of people, you’ll turn that 80% into your die-hard fans for life.

I am not going to delve too far into the metrics behind Kmart’s recent string of TV-to-Youtube based adverts that have thrown the company into the spotlight and gained nearly 7 million views for two of the 3 controversial ads (the third was debuted earlier this week and is sure to catch up soon enough). The first two ads eluded to “almost curse words” so for the faint of heart, turn back now and run to Walmart, but for those of you who agree pushing the envelope is key in making a company memorable, I encourage you to watch these advertisements!

The summary of this post is that your marketing should 1) push the limits, and 2) should be memorable. Don’t always focus on who you’re going to offend – focus on who you’re going to win.

Big Gas Man : 

Ship My Pants :

Holiday “Show Your Joe” :

 

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