Is Kmart becoming…edgy?

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

5 December 2013

Sadly, the edginess will probably not be part of the Kmart brand

We at Stealing Share believe that media placement matrixes are important because you need to maximize your ad spending dollars – and measure it. But they often don’t tell the whole story.

So take the following news with a bit of skepticism while acknowledging a learning.

Kantar Media, developing a ranking based on spending and in-store visits, gave Walmart, Target and Kmart top efficiency ratings for Black Friday, while naming Sears, Radio Shack and Macy’s at the bottom.

“Whether it creates any long-term preference is doubtful. But its themes (“Shop Your Way. Get in. Get more Christmas”) centered around control, speed and price is interesting.”

Look at those names. Not surprising Sears and Radio Shack are so low. It probably has little to do with its spending because the fact is that they are two of the most irrelevant brands in retail and have struggled to find their place in the market. (Call us. We can help.)

We know Walmart is the king (for many reasons, including its brand) and I suppose Target and even Macy’s have varying levels of brand success.

The shocker here is Kmart. It has long been a troubled brand, the one most hit by the rise of Walmart. It seemed to follow everything Walmart did, which just made Walmart stronger because it is the default choice when all things were equal.

KmartThe Christmas ad for Kmart getting the most buzz is the “Show Your Joe” ad, which shows men in boxer shorts playing Jingle Bells with their, um, bells. It’s working and…I like it. It’s simple, funny and plenty edgy. Whether it creates any long-term preference is doubtful. But its themes (“Shop Your Way. Get in. Get more Christmas”) centered around control, speed and price is interesting.

The ad itself doesn’t really support that theme, so we may find later into the holiday shopping season that Kmart’s rise was a blip on the radar. However, for once, Kmart is being noticed.

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