Kmart Airs What Is Totally Not A Christmas Commercial

merry_birthdayLast year, discount retailer and aspiring landlord Kmart kicked off its Christmas marketing early. Really early. Last year, the chain waited around until September 10 to start airing its first Christmas ad. This year, they moved that start date up, presumably so people who chatter about retail would complain about the early start date and embed the ad. You win, Kmart.

The spot emphatically denies that it has anything to do with Christmas, while showing Christmas imagery such as Santa, Christmas trees, reindeer, and an apparent birthday cake for Jesus.

Of course, like last year’s ad, this spot isn’t really an advertisement for holiday shopping: it’s an ad for the store’s layaway program.

A friend once told me that her parents used layaway not just to spread out payments over time without using credit cards, but to keep gifts picked out ahead of time hidden from their four kids until Christmas. A typical layaway contract at Kmart is eight weeks long, so people who shop today would need to find a hiding place for almost another month and a half.

The stores of Sears Holdings Corporation must really be excited about Christmas: they started their countdown with a “199 Days Until Christmas” e-mail blast in June.

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