Kohl’s Black Friday Commercial: Creative Brilliance or Epic Fail?

It’s that time again for Black Friday commercials to be at every channel click. One in particular is gaining a lot of negative attention on the web. Kohl’s created a parody of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” song that went viral earlier this year because people disliked it. It seems the same phenomenon is happening to Kohl’s commercial, which has received nearly 400,000 views, 2,000 dislikes and more than 1,100 comments in just five days.

Some of the top comments on this video include: “This video gave me cancer,” and “I will never shop at Kohl’s again!” Needless to say, the majority of people seem to strongly dislike this video, even though it is going viral.

Creative Risk-taking

I recently read a blog post by PRBreakfastClub called “Is Creativity Worth the Gamble?” The post discussed how in public relations we try to be more creative everyday, but sometimes when we are too creative it can back fire like New Coke or Kentucky Grilled Chicken.

The post left readers with five tips on being creative:

  1. Go for Clever, not Funny
  2. Start Small– Share you idea with a small group of people first.
  3. Necessity- Don’t rock the boat.
  4. Current Reputation– Don’t do anything to taint your current reputation.
  5. Ask for opinions

The article also said you never know if something will work, unless you try.

So Was it Worth the Gamble for Kohl’s?

So I am curious if you all think that Kohl’s creative risk, was worth the gamble? Is it worth going viral because you are hated? Personally, I think Kohl’s had a strike of brilliance, and people online can’t take a joke.

If we look at Rebecca Black since her negative viral video, we can see she is not a pop icon, who has been in Katy Perry’s hit video “Last Friday Night” and has released a new single “This is my Moment.” Her claim to fame may be due to cyber-bullying, but she has overcome. I suspect the same result for Kohl’s, in the end.


Was Kohl’s commercial creative brilliance or an epic fail?

A Lesson in QR Codes: Macy’s Backstage Pass

While watching an TV episode on Hulu recently, an advertisement caught my eye. Macy’s is doing a promotion with something called “Macy’s Backstage Pass.” The backstage pass is a Macy’s red star with a QR code embedded into it.

I thought the commercial was brilliant so I did some more research.

It turns out that Macy’s introduced a similar campaign in early 2011, according to Orange QR’s blog. The campaign was so successful, they have re-launched it for the fall with some fun twists.

Elements of Macy’s Updated QR Code Campaign

  • First of all, the new campaign is much more specific on showing consumers how to utilize the QR code. It is evident in the very educational commercial. If someone had never seen or used a QR code, the commercial shows them what to do step by step.
  • Second, it provides customers with valuable exclusives such as 30 second videos with fashion and decorating tips from top people in the industry.
  • Lastly, it rewards the customers with a chance to enter a shopping spree contest.

Macy’s campaign is nicely executed. It uses education, exclusives and rewards with a creative approach to a QR Code. Macy’s also proves a reputable company that has been around for decades can keep up with the times in a relevant, innovative manner.

PR professionals can learn from Macy’s that not everyone knows how to use a QR code and that it must provide value to be worth the time of the consumer.

Here is one of the commercials of the current campaign: