JJ Vincent thinks that this ad will be the viral hit – or miss – of the 2013 Holiday Shopping Season.
Every year, there is a holiday ad or three that people can’t stop talking about. This one may not get enough national TV airtime to get that “buzz”, but thanks to this little thing called the internet, everyone is going to have an opinion, even if they’ve never seen it.
Kmart has plenty of practice making made-to-go-viral ads. “Ship My Pants” and “Big Gas Savings” got the company more publicity than they could have ever bought.
This year, people are up in arms about “Show Your Joe”, which features men in Joe Boxer boxer shorts performing a…unique…rendition of Jingle Bells.
The comments on Kmart’s Facebook Page are about 50/50 awful/awesome. A cursory glance gave me, “disgusting, distasteful, raunchy, offended, vulgar, inappropriate, outrageous, kudos, loved, hysterical, thank you, good laugh, funny stuff, LOL, and ‘people get over it’.” A One Million Mom’s protest has been organized. Shamings are being planned:
The group is urging supporters to use social media to shame Kmart into removing the ad.
It asks supporters to post “Kmart’s distasteful new commercial has to go! This ad should be pulled off the air immediately” on their Facebook pages and use their Twitter accounts to post: “@kmart Shame on Kmart for airing inappropriate commercials. #kmart” (LA Times)
So, to break this down. Men are ringing bells to play a tune. The cloth panel moves and reveals boxers. Not briefs or bikinis. Holiday-themed boxers. The men shift and thrust their hips to play “Jingle Bells”. They bend their knees, and repeat, the second time in a lower key. No genitalia is show, despite what a number of protestors say. People saw this on prime-time TV and were utterly outraged. They say it is too sexy. Too crude. Filth.
Have they watched prime-time (national/network) TV lately? I literally just saw the ad on a murder-heavy police procedural. With a few notable exceptions, sitcoms are rife with bawdy jokes and blue humor. Crime shows are blood and gore and splatter. Any given channel has scantily clad women, and not just in the ads. I would suspect that if someone is watching prime time, they are aware of this. If they saw it during sports, then they might also be seeing ads for alcohol and erectile dysfunction medications, with the “Ask your doctor if you are healthy enough for sexual activity/help for an erection lasting more than 4 hours” warnings. The children that they are are worried about, who might see the Joe Boxer ad, are probably seeing those other ads, too.
So why the outrage over the musical boxers?
It is because viewers are being made to consider that men have something in their pants, that we are not Ken dolls? That they are afraid that their children might ask questions that they don’t want to answer? That Kmart has some sort of secret agenda to encourage inappropriate pelvic thrusting? Do they think that children aren’t aware of what is underneath a pair of boxer shorts?
I wonder if these people’s sense of outrage extends to the other material on the air with the ads? Or is there something especially dastardly about Jingle Balls…I mean bells.