The Downside of Cheeky Videos – Besides a Good Laugh

Over the past few months, national household retailers typically known for their buttoned-up marketing and branding styles, have unleashed off-color viral commercials on YouTube to reclaim lost sales, lost customers and/or launch new products. Take Kmart’s recent and, dare I say, hilarious “Ship My Pants” video that promoted its new in-store shipping offering due to a myriad of poor customer service issues. The video has amassed over 18 million views and shares. Even more recently, the brand has launched the “Big Gas Savings” YouTube video to promote its fuel offerings, which has eclipsed the first cheeky video.

Are these silly, risqué ads really helping the company improve their bottom line? Unfortunately not. The quarterly revenues released in late May continued to show slumping sales despite the overwhelming views and primetime media coverage across the networks. So while folks seem to be having a good laugh over it all, the viral video craze may not always be the Holy Grail.

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