(This story has been updated below to indicate when viewers can expect to see the commercial on TV.)
Kmart (SHLD) just came out of nowhere with one of the funniest commercials we've seen in a long time.
The discount retailer is touting the fact that in-store shoppers who can't find what they're looking for are now able to order the item online right in the store, with free delivery. In its latest commercial, released Wednesday, shoppers react with amazement at the fact they can ship their pants right there in the store. Take a look:
The uncharacteristically off-color ad is meeting with universal acclaim on YouTube: The video has received more than 160,000 views, and 98.6% of those voting on the video gave it a thumbs-up.
"I think Walmart (WMT) just shipped itself," notes one top commenter.
As for Kmart, the ad serves a real purpose: emphasizing to consumers that Kmart stores and Kmart.com operate as a cohesive unit, allowing shoppers to buy merchandise via either channel as they see fit. This so-called omnichannel approach to retailing has been a major focus of bricks-and-mortar retail chains over the last few years.
But it hasn't always come easy, even for Kmart. I recently recounted an experience I had at my local Kmart, when I discovered via a smartphone app that a product was available on Kmart.com for 50% cheaper than it was in the store. As one retail analyst told me at the time, inconsistent pricing across channels and locations has been an issue for retailers, and Kmart is no exception.
With that said, I was able to navigate around the price differential rather smoothly by ordering on my smartphone and then picking it up from the customer service desk an hour later. And as I later learned, Kmart's price-matching policy does indeed apply to its own website, which isn't always the case in the retail world.
In other words, Kmart seems to be figuring out this whole omninchannel thing. And it certainly seems to know what it's doing on the advertising front.
UPDATED (6 p.m. ET Friday): While the commercial is only viewable online for the moment, a spokesperson for Kmart tells us that it will start airing on select cable TV channels later this month.
Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.
Take the first steps to building your portfolio.View Course »