Kmart was coming out of bankruptcy, and heading straight into
There was one thing the core Kmart shopper knew well, and that was how to stretch a dollar. In fact, the recession hit the Kmart shopper least of all because she was already a smart shopper. Frugal became hot, and people were flocking to her to learn her secret ways of making ends meet.
There's smart, and there's Kmart Smart.
I wrote that tagline, and sold in the campaign to validate the shopping prowess of our Kmart shopper – and attract new shoppers who were eager to learn how to shop Kmart Smart. Being a 'frugalista' was popular, and I convinced the new CMO to focus all of our holiday advertising not just around Kmart Smart, but also featuring their 'old fashioned' layaway program. He was tough to convince, but I did it, and it worked. Kmart Smart turned the brand around and brought Kmart "back in the black" for the first time in well over a decade.
When we won the Kmart account, the client had only one stipulation. We had to work with the new talking lightbulb they had just introduced to the world - Mr. Bluelight.
Kmart Smart worked so well, it drove a lot of decisions for the brand, including the renaming of their private label brand, which became Smart Sense.
Fun Fact: My Kmart Smart tagline was lampooned on SNL.
My team and I made hundreds of tv spots for Kmart and Kmart brands — here are a few of my favorites!
We tapped into the surprisingly high quality of Kmart brands and merchandise, and the fact that it all came at a "Kmart price."
Fun fact: We worked with Bella Thorne, Hailee Steinfeld and other child stars before they hit the big time. Some of their first big breaks were our Kmart spots.
Retail advertising is unique in that you create hundreds of tv spots, digital campaigns, emails, radio spots, banner ads and more for every season, every brand, every sale and every drive period. It's insane, for sure. But I loved every single minute of it.
But what I really loved was making the Kmart brand profitable again, even if only for a short time.