Is this the worst commercial ever?
The Internet seems to think it could be.
A 30-second back-to-school TV ad for East Hills Shopping Center in St. Joseph, Missouri, has got people talking.
The commercial opens with a little girl singing the name of the mall. Her rendition appears to be slightly off-key.
The rest of the spot features mall employees appealing to viewers simply by holding up certain items and singing their names.
“Boots and pants!” one man says, while a woman offers: “Backpacks! Backpacks! Come get your backpacks!”
Another woman holding a pair of scissors encourages “Haircuts!”
In lieu of music, beatboxing can be heard in the background throughout the entire spot.
The result is an offbeat commercial that seems to have struck a chord – or a nerve – online. Posted to YouTube on Sunday, the spot had been seen more than 400,000 times as of Monday night.
It generated a flood of comments, most of which were negative. Some posters wrote that the ad made them cringe.
“This is a joke right? Like please? Tell me this is a joke???” wrote one poster, while another added: "This is the Sharknado of commercials."
Another poster dubbed the commercial “a failure," writing "I did not feel at all like I would like to visit that place, if anything, now I do not want to put my feet in there. Learn to make commercials."
Another piled on with: “OMG this is the worst commercial ever.”
But not everyone was critical. Some posters found the spot appealing.
“I suddenly have the urge to buy some boots, denim pants, and then get a haircut ...,” one commenter wrote.
Added another: “Y'all ever think maybe they have a sense of humor and it's supposed to be bad??? Pretty good viral marketing I say!”
Caroline Thalasinos, the mall’s general manager, told ABC News Monday that the commercial was intended to be “extremely lighthearted and funny.”
When producer Chris Fleck sent her a link to the finished project before it began to air in the local market, Thalasinos said she thought they were on to something.
“I was like, this is hilarious,” she said.
“It was extremely catchy and even though it was extremely funny, I knew a lot of people might take it seriously, and I mean, we had no idea that it was going to go viral but I knew that we were going to get attention for it and that’s what the main goal was,” she added.
She said it’s too soon to tell whether there’s been an uptick in mall sales as a result of the commercial, but she said it’s certainly put the mall on people’s radar.
“When they do think of back to school shopping .... They’re going to think of East Hills Shopping Center, and I think that’s great,” she said.