It only seems appropriate that in this season of rebirth, K-Mart, the dark, dingy, what the hell can they possibly do to stave off bright spiffy Target discount retail chain, has birthed the viral video big idea sensation that just might spark a revival. (As of yesterday almost 10 million YouTube visits in a week or so…) If you haven’t seen it, Google it. K-Mart — Ship My Pants! (As an aside, note how I didn’t “link” that title — I did it on purpose, for two reasons. 1: I don’t know how to link and 2: I don’t want to draw you away from this posting. Would David Ogilvy have allowed his copywriters to put links in Rolls-Royce copy that would take them away from the message he worked so hard to get people to visit? I think not, however…)
To get back to K-Mart. What could they say? Not that they are better than Target. They’re not. Not that they’re cleaner than Target. They’re not. Not that they have better stuff, or prices than Target. They don’t.
So they reverted to all they could do. They honestly wove some entertainment value around a parity benefit. In other words — they told another story. A better story.
Howard Gossage, genius of geniuses, once said, “the purpose of your advertising shouldn’t be to sell your client’s product, it should be to scare the hell out of your client’s copywriters.”
If I’m working for Target today, I’m shipping myself.