From our Whiskey Tango Foxtrot desk
The hardwincing staff has already noted that JCPenny has been accused of running back-to-school ads that promote bullying, while Sears has a lingerie line that allegedly borders on bondage.
(Neither of which, by the way, merited the attendant media kerfuffle.)
Now come accusations that Kmart’s back to school TV spots are racist.
So that’s problematic . . . why?
Saturday afternoon, MSNBC host Craig Melvin introduced a story about a Minneapolis-based group of rapping kids, who previously brought the world the massively popular “Hot Cheetos and Takis” song and music video. The group, formally known as Y.N. RichKids, now Da Rich Kidzz, have landed themselves a national back-to-school TV commercial from Kmart that has apparently been causing some controversy on Twitter.
Melvin read off some tweets from viewers who accused Kmart of “racially profiling” black kids by implying that all they do is “rap and dance,” calling the ad “belittling and deplorable.” Without naming names, he said some of his colleagues at MSNBC had expressed similar sentiments.
Campaign Outsider Reality Check™ : The Kmart spots are a takeoff on playing the dozens, a venerable insult tradition in black communities. Which is exactly the audience Kmart is targeting.
So – racist? Or smart marketing?
We’re playing the latter.