A new Kmart commercial that depicts a group of men in boxer shorts shaking their booty to a commonly sung Christmas carol has some viewer's undies in a bunch.
The 55-second ad created an online maelstrom yesterday and today when it was aired on national TV.
The commercial, dubbed "Show Your Joe," begins with a wide angle shot of six men, who appear to be dressed in tuxedos, standing behind a curtain while ringing bells. However, a few seconds into the clip the curtain is whisked away, revealing the men's bottoms are clad in Joe Boxer underwear.
Racy? Not really, but it's what happens next that has some viewers up in arms.
The men squat down and begin shaking their booties to the song "Jingle Bells." The typical interpretation of their actions is that the men's testicles are swinging in their shorts, thus creating the bell sounds.
The commercial is part of a new advertising campaign for Joe Boxer, a brand of underwear and related apparel sold exclusively at Kmart and Sears, which are both owned by Sears Holdings.
The commercial has resulted in a flurry of criticism on Kmart's Facebook page, where words like "disgusting" and "distasteful" are peppered throughout many of the user comments.
"You can forget me stepping into any of your stores. Pull that ad off the air," one Facebook user wrote.
Another suggested the company find "someone to do better commercial writing."
However, not everyone is negative of the commercial.
"My daughter and I love the Joe Boxer commercial! Lighten up, people," said a mom from Columbus, Ohio.
One poster even called the commercial "Genius."
Contacted by The Huffington Post on Monday, a Kmart spokesperson said: "The Kmart 'Show Your Joe' commercial playfully showcases Joe Boxer's men's clothing available at Kmart. We regret if some people found the commercial offensive, as that was not our intent."
In regard to the most recent commercial, it appears Kmart has no plans to remove it, something Melissa Henson, national grassroots director for the Parents Television Council, said could hurt the company's sales.
"I think it is a bad move on Kmart's part. Kmart is one of those stores that has traditionally been considered a family brand ... The backlash can be pretty bad. The brand has been suffering and may have a hard time recovering from this if they alienate a lot of customers," Henson told HuffPost.
Henson also said the commercial is likely to create "a lot of awkward moments for parents."
While Kmart’s ad has obviously upset some viewers, the company has succeeded in creating a buzz. Only time will tell if that buzz has a positive or negative impact on the company.
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