It wouldn’t be the holidays without people getting mad over nothing. In corner one: Kmart living up to its “Big” honorific.
Kmart commercials continue their controversial hot streak with a new Joe Boxer commercial, managing to anger a whole bunch of people who don’t have a sense of humor or holiday cheer. The commercial, which follows the brand’s ‘Ship My Pants,’ and ‘Big Gas Savings,’ features men moving their hips to the tune of Jingle Bells while wearing suits on their top half and their underwear on their bottom half. The commercial is called ‘Show Your Joe,’ and it’s basically a blend between the Hershey Kiss holiday commercials and those old fashioned “Just wait till we get our Hanes on you” jingles.
The uproar over its perceived inappropriateness would make you think Diane Martel was on the production team, and Robin Thicke was in front of the camera, but the commercial is quite contained with impeccable choreography on the part of the male models. We think the boxers are on the verge of being upstaged by the men’s ability to physically express the mood of the bells so well.
But when one bell rings another tolls and the easily offended advocacy group One Million Moms launched a social media campaign to pull the ad from TV, decrying it as “disgusting,” “inappropriate,” and “filth.”
We’ve grown expect this kind of outcry from the millions of moms who throw around the word “vulgar” on their site like you drop f bombs, but that doesn’t mean we can wrap our heads around just what they’re taking to task. (Perhaps they’re just hot and bothered which we all know can come out as frustration. Just a thought ladies.) It’s pretty tame, especially in comparison to any Victoria’s Secret ad (although the moms complain about that too).
People are so accustomed to seeing sexy women in various states of undress that they don’t even register it as a thing anymore, but the second a man steps out in his skivvies it appears to be an issue. Women are naked everywhere all day on every sort of advertisement, not just on underwear ones. Have you shopped for a cheeseburger or a car lately? Scantily clad babes. And sometimes gyrating ones or slippery ones rolling around on things.
Now we won’t throw out the term “sexist” per se, but why is it that when men act in a (sort of) provocative manner they are viewed more negatively than when women do the exact same thing? Are men shaking their shorts more insulting to pristine sensibilities than female models stripping and seducing the camera? Guess that depends on what you are afraid of.
And the more afraid of sex (and the way it sells) you are, the more it comes after you. For instance, a very high percentage of Texans believe in abstinence only teaching, but that doesn’t stop the state from having one of the worst teen pregnancy rates in the nation.
Some viewer complaints included words like “disrespectful” and “tacky,” but we’re going to go with entertaining. It’s not like men in their underwear are ever classy. These guys are wearing tuxedo jackets, what more can you want!
Despite all the hullabaloo and attempts to get the spot pulled from TV, Kmart released the following statement: “This commercial is a playful take on spreading holiday cheer. We regret if you found it objectionable.”
Spread on Kmart we say. Spread on. Just make sure you aren’t spreading anything else.