Taking a break from homework and NaNoWriMo, I came across this video (as did 7 million other people):
If you haven’t been keeping up with the world wide interwebs, the above ad is for Kmart’s Joe Boxer briefs with that commercial flavor of Christmas we all know and love. Hilarious, right? If you don’t think so, please leave. Now.
I’m kidding. I love you. But I’m not sorry to say that if you were offended by it, we likely wouldn’t get along all too well. Unsurprisingly, in this largely coddled and politically correct society we inhabit, many people got their panties in a bunch and unleashed their self-righteousness on Kmart’s Facebook page:
“I wanted to post that I found your new commercial, (male dancers scantly clothed doing a holiday rendition) to be less than family friendly. If you are so desperate for customers that you need to be that degrading then you will probably never bring your numbers back… I will not be shopping your store this Christmas season.”
“Your ad “Show Your Joe” focusing on several men wearing Joe Boxer shorts thrusting to the tune of Jingle Bells is disgusting.
Your commercial is airing during primetime even during Christmas movies on family networks such as the Hallmark Channel, which families will likely watch together. Kmart should be more responsible in your marketing decisions. I am a parent and a consumer I am disgusted by your recent marketing choices.
A very concerned parent”
Of course these people have the right to their opinion just like anyone else and as much as I would like to be nice and respectful to everyone crying out against this ad…
Get over yourselves, you oversensitive fuddy-duddies with your classy sensibilities and “family values.”
And that’s all I really want to say in a nutshell, lest I get carried away and start frothing at the mouth like some of the commenters on the Facebook page and elsewhere.
To be fair, this isn’t the primary consensus. Actually, more people seem to love it more than hate it, pointing out that this ad is far tamer, less exploitative, and more fun than… pretty much any other ad that features scantily clad men or women shilling products not even related to naked bodies. Does this mean that minor exploitation is acceptable because it’s not as “bad” as a GoDaddy ad? Not necessarily. But it helps put ads like “Show Your Joe” in a broader perspective.
It’s just irritating hearing “think of the children” kind of arguments. As if every little thing that could even so much as be misconstrued as lewd/crass/disgusting/mean-spirited would shatter the morality of any and all children. Are we somehow ashamed or afraid to have to explain to our children what testicles are? That’s messed up. Instead of shielding our children from men shaking their jingle balls in holiday-themed boxer briefs, we should let them absorb it in their own way and give them a bit of guidance here and there. What kid is going to explicitly associate a line of silly men dancing in their underwear to a Chippendale’s show with man candy flopping their Kris Kringles around? “Tee hee, nuts.” What’s so harmful about that? Stop telling our children that genitals are morally icky or whatever…
But the moral fiber of our youth (which still includes me?) is a topic for another day.
Oh, and the woman who called the ad “tacky…” I’m sorry, have you not experienced Christmas in the United States before? Ok. I’m done.
You know I don’t often comment on viral current events, especially concerning people ranting ridiculous on the Internet, but I actually really liked this ad. It made me laugh and I found it endearing (among other things). Stay laughing, my friends.
What do you think of the ad? Do you think Kmart knew it would be controversial? Share your thoughts in the comments.