K-Mart is Knocking Layaway Out of the Park with New Campaign

The Holiday Season has finally arrived. More accurately, it has been here since October when retailers kicked the last of the Halloween candy to the curb, replacing it with light up snowmen and candy canes galore.  Sorry, Thanksgiving, you are being overlooked completely these days. With the holiday season upon us, one can expect a bevy of advertisements inundating eager consumers looking to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones and maybe not-so-loved ones. Mandatory extended family holiday parties, I’m looking at you.

Regardless of your gift buying preferences there are a flood of ads for many major retailers’ layaway programs, where you pay an incremental price for a reserved item. One of the retail juggernauts who employ this program is Kmart. Usually, Kmart starts littering the airwaves with saccharine sweet layaway commercials advising moms to put that Barbie on reserve for little Sally, but not this year. Kmart has partnered with Chicago-based agency Draftcb to put an incredibly new spin on layaway ads. As Draftcb says, “Kmart invented layaway. We invented a new way to talk about it.” That sentence summarizes an awesome result that comes out of a good campaign.

One of the ads shows a boardroom of an unknown competing retailer where a slew of evil characters (Satan, Genghis Khan, “the guy who always takes the last donut”) all conspire to make layaway as difficult as possible. Overall, the ad is funny, lighthearted and most of all, effective. Many agencies aim to rebrand or reinvigorate a brand or program, but when you can take something as seemingly boring as layaway and make it great, that’s truly remarkable. Kudos, Kmart and Draftcb, this spot appeals to so much more than moms, and is surely great big smile inducing.