Have you seen the new Kmart ad with kids doing what I guess you’d call a reverse cutdown? The kids deliver compliments in a tone and style you’d normally use to deliver an insult. I guess you’d call the dialect the language of the streets.
The ad is titled “Kmart Back to School Layaway—Yo Mama” and it begins with one young boy approaching another:
“Julio, I need to ‘aks’ you a question.”
As I watched the commercial on TV, I had to ‘aks’ myself a question. Whom did Kmart target? The parents? Or the kids they hoped would convince the parents to buy them the products?
Whatever the case, the commercial drew mixed reactions, as you can see from comments on the Facebook page.
Kmart offered a canned response to naysayers:
“Thanks for your feedback…This commercial is a playful take on Kmart Layaway. We regret if it wasn’t your style.”
As for ‘aks,’ I found an interesting theory about the pronunciation of that word at Urban Dictionary where a poster claimed that’s how it was traditionally pronounced in the South.
I’d enjoy hearing others’ opinions on the commercial. Personally, I’m not sure it gets the job done.
Kmart is part of the holding company that owns Sears.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/July 26, 2013)
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