Kmart Promotes Layaway in an Evil Way

Kmart is known for selling cheap underwear and a having a clever ad agency.  Now the company is promoting layaway in a very evil way.

Draftcb, the agency behind the “Ship My Pants” spot, continues their trend of employing off-the-wall humor in their campaign for Kmart.  This time, they’ve added Satan, Genghis Khan, and a dance party to the mix to take a traditionally negative stigma out of layaway plans.


In their spot to promote Kmart’s layaway plan, “Boardroom,” has a boss and employees in a room full of evil workers — including Genghis Khan and Satan — for evil ideas to make layaway “as inconvenient as possible.” Genghis Khan suggests blackout dates, Satan offers up limitations like no clothes, and “Guy Who Always Takes the Last Donut” comes up with in-store only. The meeting is interrupted when a nun walks in, to which the boss running the meeting calmly replies “I believe we have the room until 11:30, sister.” I’m not quite sure why the nun is so unfazed upon seeing Satan in the flesh. You’d think she’d attempt to throw some holy water at him or something, at least. The spot ends by informing us of Kmart’s “Shop Your Way” layaway policy — basically the opposite of all the evil ideas thrown out at the board meeting.

“Boardroom” is worth a quick chuckle, even if it’s not quite as funny as the “Ship My Pants” spot, and should gain Kmart some visibility. And we all know Kmart needs all the help it can get. Maybe that nun can pray for them, too.




Post Foods Now Sings and Dances

Post Foods has struck gold (or maybe honey) with a new campaign that tastefully touts Honey Bunches of Oats.  The brand now sings and dances for oats, per say.

The famous cereal maker has enlisted pop duo Domino Saints for its latest ad campaign geared toward Hispanic markets. The pop duo from San Juan, Puerto Rico, collaborated in the exclusive “Smile While You Shake It” music video.


Post Food is banking on Domino Saints in hopes that their song helps secure the brand as the go-to cereal amongst Hispanics as they integrate Spanish lyrics into the primarily English song.

The campaign calls on customers to record their own dance moves to the song in order to win weekly prizes. Honey Bunches of Oats has optimism that this campaign will furry a nation-wide dance competition. You don’t have to know the Harlem Shake or know dance moves to win the competition.  There’s a micro-site with some pointers that tell you how to smile while you shake to win it.

As for me, I’ll sit quietly with a cup of coffee in the morning.  I’m having no booty shaking before dusk.  You?


ESPN Wants Your Nipples For Ad Space

ESPN is taking the needs of its viewing audience to an intimate level with a new promotional event and ad.  During a pasta dinner in preparation for the New York City Marathon, reps from the sports-channel were handing out nipple guards, while a sign proclaimed, “It’s Not Crazy to Love Running More Than Your Nipples, It’s Sports.”


This is part of a new way advertisers are trying to connect with sports fans by siding with their obsessive-compulsive behaviors.  The ESPN spot is reminiscent of Bud Light’s recent campaign celebrating and encouraging the superstitious rituals fans employ to “help” their team win.  Their campaign is similarly titled “It’s Only Weird if it Doesn’t Work.”

Nipples have long been used as a draw with advertisers since the 70’s, when Farrah Fawcett alerted the country that women had them.  But this may be one of the first mass ad campaigns that focuses on nipples as something other than an object of sexual fascination.

Maybe someday breastfeeding will work its way into advertising as well; marathon runners have nothing to worry about when it comes to chaffing in comparison to new moms.


Ray Liotta Says Nothing for 1800 Tequila

1800 Tequila is no stranger to invoking some mobster swagger in its ad campaigns, and their newest one is doubling down on the trend.  Legendary gangster-actor Ray Liotta has been enlisted for a series of new spots that will promote 1800 as being, in the words of the company itself, “The Tough Guy Tequila.”  However, Ray Liotta says nothing for 1800 Tequila.

Ray Liotta

These new ads by the VIA Agency show Liotta in a variety of situations, often surrounded by men drinking insufficiently masculine cocktails. Liotta barely has a word of dialogue, but that’s just how VIA’s chief creative officer Greg Smith wanted it. He believes that Liotta projects the silent, masculine type of cool that 1800 is trying to capture with its new “Enough Said” campaign.

Noting the marketing approaches of rival tequila brands, Smith further noted that it’s “not about velvet ropes and artisanal bottles and all that shit.” He wants tequila to recapture its old cowboy attitude and reputation for being “a guy’s guy’s drink.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time that 1800 has flirted with Mafioso marketing. Their previous multi-year campaign featured actor Michael Imperioli, best known for his role as the drugged-out gangster Christopher on The Sopranos. This time, however, 1800’s ads will be cutting all the chatter and letting Liotta’s tough countenance – and his manly drink – do all the talking.

posted by Howard Davidson, Arlington, MA


Huffing at Starbucks in Arlington, MA

Last week police removed a man from the Arlington Center Starbucks  (in Arlington, MA) for alleged huffing.

Seemingly a venti mocha cappuccino wasn’t enough to get the anonymous Arlington man through the day. So instead of adding a couple of shots of espresso to his coffee he decided to sniff from two bottles of keyboard “dust off” (apparently he couldn’t get his hands on any glue).

Huffing is the colloquial term used to describe the sniffing of intoxicative inhalants.  The fumes cause a slew of side effects, including light-headedness, dizziness, incoherence and involuntary loss of muscle control. While some might find these symptoms reminiscent of a bad case of the flu, others actually enjoy the high.


However, if you’re planning on huffing you should probably do it within the privacy of your own home. As the Arlington Starbucks huffer has learned, sniffing from bottles in broad daylight in a crowded public place does, indeed, attract attention. A Starbucks manager noticed the man’s odd, erratic behavior and his bottles of dust off and promptly called the police. While the man was not arrested, the police did give the man a verbal no trespass order and encouraged him to seek out help for his problem.

I guess the huffer left the shop in a huff.

Posted by Howard Davidson in Arlington, MA