Kmart’s “ship my pants” ad has become a viral hit, gaining praise for its clever wordplay but also a bit of controversy.
The premise of the ad is simple — to promote the retail chain’s in-store shipping option.
The entry below the advertisement’s ad on YouTube reads:
“Want to ship your pants too? Can’t find what you’re looking for in store, a sales associate can find it on Kmart.com and ship it to you for free!”
But the delivery is what’s made the ad a hit. It features an amazed father talked to a Kmart salesman about the option to have pants (and other merchandise) ordered from the company’s website and shipped to the store. He passes the word along to his equally excited family.
But in his amazement, “ship my pants” starts to sound like… well, something else.
The Kmart ad goes on from there, with his family talking about “shipping” their pants, another talking about “shipping” her drawers and an older gentlemen excited to “ship” his bed.
The ad was only uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday, but it already has more than 620,000 views. And it’s a hit elsewhere as well. It was submitted on the link-sharing site Reddit, garnering more than 4,500 user votes.
But the “ship my pants” ad also brought some controversy. Some of the commenters on Reddit pointed out that it sounds like they’re going further clever wordplay sometimes.
“”Half of them are actually saying ‘s**t’ ” noted user Jabberwalker. And others agreed, saying that at some points there’s no difference between the word they’re trying to avoid saying and the curse word itself.
Another user point to the father’s reaction at the 10-second mark of the “ship my pants” ad, saying it really sounds like the swear word at that point:
What do you think of the “ship my pants” ad — is it a bit of marketing genius or just a bad attempt at crude humor?