From the retailer that brought “Big Gas” and “Ship Your Pants” to the advertising lexicon comes what will surely not be the last controversial ad of the holiday season, a new Kmart ad showing hunks in boxers strutting their stuff to “Jingle Bells.”
The ad, which made its debut this week, begins innocently enough, showing six men dressed in tuxedo jackets playing “Jingle Bells” with hand bells behind a table.
The six hunks then ditch the hand bells, come out from behind the table and continue to play “Jingle Bells,” this time with their hips.
The “Show Your Joe” ad was created to promote Kmart’s holiday-themed Joe Boxer apparel line but not all customers responded to the ad with holiday glee.
“Dislike the commercial, try explaining it to little children. It is inappropriate if you consider yourself a family store,” Kathleen Crockett wrote on the retailer’s Facebook page.
“The commercial I saw last night with the men in tuxes ringing their … was disgusting and in poor taste. I couldn’t believe this was allowed on air!! I won’t be shopping at K Mart this Christmas,” Jerry Carr wrote.
Other Facebook users, particularly women, thanked the company for ringing some holiday joy, literally, into their lives.
“Thank you! from the ladies in my office. I think we all are interested in getting joe boxers for the special guy in our lives now,” Regina Barwick wrote.
“It is about time that someone came up with something entertaining for us women to look at. Can I have them come to my house and play for me? K Mart you rock! The men were not showing anything at all. Just playing music,” Kimberley Wunk wrote.
Whether people like it, the ad has already gone viral, racking up more than 400,000 views on YouTube since it’s posting Friday.
Finding success with a humorous and edgy commercial appears to be the new advertising strategy for Kmart.
In April, Kmart released “Ship My Pants,” an ad featuring wordplay mimicking a crude joke to promote free shipping for loyalty members. Within five days of being uploaded to YouTube, that 35-second video had nearly 10 million views.
The next month, in May, the company scored with its “Big Gas” tongue-in-cheek ad to promote a special discount on gas. Throughout the spot, customers praise the “big gas” savings and “big gas” prices, but their repeated, rapid use of the phrase makes it sound as though they’re saying “big a**.”
Do you think Kmart’s “Show Your Joe” ad is funny or too much? Tell us in the comments.
ABC News’ Susanna Kim contributed to this report.