Yesha Callahan

K-Mart Receives Harsh Feedback For New Ads Featuring Yo-Momma Jokes & Rapping Kids

Last August, kid rappers Y.N.RichKids found Internet fame with “Hot Cheetos & Takis,”. Their song, which was written written as part of Minneapolis after-school program Beats and Rhymes, not only racked up millions of YouTube views, but also earned the youngsters a 4 star (out of 5)  review in Rolling Stone

Just in case you missed it:

It also left plenty of people wondering what exactly is a Taki?

Apparently, someone at Draftfcb, one of the largest global advertising agency networks, knew the answer. Draftfcb is currently involved in revamping K-Mart’s brand and over the past couple of months, their back to school commercials have been getting a lot of attention.

Da Rich Kidzz are back with “My Limo,” a K-Mart’s corporate anthem about riding the bus, back-to-school shopping and other kid stuff:

Known for appealing to the budget conscious, K-Mart’s rebranding efforts seems to attempt to appeal to the “urban” budget conscious.  But having 50 year old white men write rap lyrics or Yo Momma  jokes performed by kids isn’t sitting well with a lot of  people.

Here’s a look at K-Mart’s “Yo Momma” shops on lay-a-way commercial:

And here’s a look at the comments on K-Mart’s Facebook page:

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Well a round of applause to Randy Lahey, who unlike K-Mart, single-handedly tried to offer a rebuttal to each post made by a disgruntled K-Mart shopper.  Growing up everyone said Yo Momma jokes on the playground.  And in regards to the rapping kids, maybe people would be happier if they had little Justin Biebers singing and dancing in a pair of baggy skinny leggings.

In an effort to “fun” up their commercials, K-Mart may have hit a bump in the road. But as the saying goes, you can’t please everyone.

 

What do you think of K-Mart’s new commercials?

  1. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    I am so glad that someone is writing about this, I HATE this commercial! Especially how they have these kids basically playing the dozens in the school yard and the black girl is a little too exaggerated. Embarrassing to watch and extremely stereotypical.

    • July 30, 2013 - Reply

      @sarah

      You took the words out of my mouth!

      • July 30, 2013 - Reply

        @Tonia

        The fact that folks would even give us a thumb down because I am stating an opinion that I think this commercial is pathetic…..I hate stereotypical commercial
        period Kmart could have been a bit more clever like the new Target commercial.

    • July 30, 2013 - Reply

      @sarah

      I’m one of the “folks” that gave you, Sarah, a thumb down. Let me explain why. I read a lot – online, books, newspapers, etc.. There are things in print that invite personal opinions – what chaps my behind is someone that expresses an opinion and then expects only positive feedback. Silent expectation is fine – but, when you post online that you only want positive responses because only positive responses are helpful – that’s just ridiculous and childish. I’ve never subscribed to that thing that says … if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything. That’s crap; without a free exchange of opinions, you just have a grade school report card with stars on it. If you don’t want to be applauded and criticized, DON’T POST!

      As for the commercials – I love ’em, it’s just kids being kids – street style but no street language! I salute K-MART.

  2. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    I saw the school bus commercial and thought it was so cute. Everything that is urban is frown upon today smh. Maybe the kids should have been singing Justin Beiber, the kid who just got caught with marijuana on his tour bus?

    • July 30, 2013 - Reply

      @India

      Exactly and for years companies have been using rap with kids of all colors rapping. Though rap is seen more as urban, in some senses it has also become something trendy that transcends just one genre or one type of people.

  3. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    I thought it was adorable. I think it is something that happens, they know their audience, low income people of color and whites, and its sorta hilarious. Kids in general mess with each other about superficial things, the act of kids. I’m not saying this commercial is in a vacuum, absent racialized and classist connotations. I’m saying that in all the attempts for white corporate america to attract a particular group of people, in the age of adorable commercials i.e. Geico camel, AT&T kids. This commercial was spot on. And as was mentioned in the article running the dozens, kids obsessed with clothes, standing in a circle on a playground is not exclusive to brown children. That’s like saying the AT&T kids believing in infinity plus one is poor representation of math skills.

  4. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    People need to get a life. I thought the commercials were cute. It’s kids having fun. To many things in life to worry about,, this isn’t one of them.

  5. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    I saw nothing wrong with it.

  6. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    Those commercials are hilarious! Get a grip people.

  7. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    The commercial with the “yo Momma” jokes actually don’t hurl insults. The “jokes” are actually compliments that the kids are giving each other for having mother’s “smart” enough to shop at Kmart for back to school items…….if ppl actually took the time out to listen to the commercial, maybe there wouldn’t be so much backlash. Idk…

    The other commercial with the rapping kids I don’t think is meant to reach the population whose kids don’t listen to rap or aren’t familiar with it. If you have a kid who listens to little rappers that sound like them them you get the idea. The association is simple: Rap is “in”; I want my kid to be “in” like these little kids rapping and dancing around in the commercial; so I’ll go to Kmart for back to school stuff. But, many Kmart shoppers are not savvy in the ways of rap music and frankly, don’t like or want anything to do with rap (Black) culture. Kmart is trying to peddle to a more “urban” market, but isolating all the middle America (White) families that shop there regularly as well (and somehow “offending” them).

    I really don’t have an opinion on the commercials much b/c I don’t have kids that have to prepare for back to school season, and I don’t regularly shop at Kmart (Sorry, I’m a Target Queen). But I think folks are making a mountain out of a mole hill on this one. There are other commercials that I would call racist and stereotyping before this one (the Popeye’s lady makes me cringe, and any overweight Black woman in a commercial is a stereotype)

  8. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    I can see it being a bit over the top with the aggressiveness, but I thought it was funny and cute and I’m glad these kids are rapping about something legit rather than drugs, or thug life, or so many other things they could be rapping about.

    People will be upset with this and call it “stereotyping” but quick to see a Tyler Perry Madea movie. HA!

  9. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    Anything that isn’t a suit and tie is urban to people. I went to a catholic school in the suburbs and we were telling “yo momma” jokes. Those commercials are so cute.

    Also, Chris Salowski, that’s what a remote is for.

  10. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    The School Bus Is My Limo video is cute, but the Yo Mama jokes one actually sucks to me maybe its because their jokes are horrible to me. But it seems like the only reason why white people would have an issue with both commercials is because it shows kids of different races in an urban setting happy about returning to school. You know how that goes with white people…when we’re shucking, jiving, and cooning for nothing at all they love us but when we put on entertainment for anything positive (like kids going back to school) somehow we’re insulting or “racist” as the facebook comments above suggest. Just sad smh…

  11. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    ok relax, relate and release…. i crack up every time i see the “yo mama” commerical not b/c it’s funny but b/c it is corny as ever. i also get the point that is being made. yo mama so smart she knows to save a little bit of change she can shop at Kmart. this is my first time seeing the “my limo” commerical and it is just as funny. they have taken what used to be an embarrassing thing, riding the cheese, and turned it into something cool. again relax, relate and release…

  12. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    Wow! I actually think the commercial is hilarious and wasn’t offended at all. I didn’t get the sense that it portrayed anyone negatively.
    Let us get offended over *real* issues and not take offense over every little thing.

    • July 30, 2013 - Reply

      @Darcy

      Me either Darcy. I thought it was cool.

  13. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    Wow…. I am really surprised that you folks actually think that this commercial is funny….
    SMH….

  14. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    Maybe i’m weird, but i don’t find the commercial offensive at all. I think it’s kind of cute and funny.

  15. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    I really enjoyed the commercials ( minus the old gym teacher at the end stretching). The after school program in Minneapolis is a great outlet for kids. I am so proud that there song has spread so world wide and also that they are now featured in K-Mart commercials. Instead of hiring models they can hire real life role models promoting kids to stay in school.

  16. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    Rapping kid commercials are nothing new, especially with back to school themes. Are they cheesy? Yes. Offensive? No.

  17. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    I don’t “like” them but I don’t see anything racist or judgemental about them. They playfully tell “yo mama” jokes, MTV had a show just like that and nobody complained.
    The one that says “yo mama is so fiscally responsible she…..” is hilarious. It talks about saving money on the clothes kids like and let’s you know they offer layaway.
    I don’t like the fact that when advertisers use black youth they are portrayed as inner city, tough talking, thugg looking and use poor English. McDonalds usually have loud talking, singing, jive talking black people in their’s. Unfortunately that’s how those companies view their black consumers, so I personally try not to patronize these establishments.

  18. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    I agree…damn people are thin-skinned these days!

  19. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    I love the kids rapping but NOT playing the dozens, smh

  20. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    Jesus. Just give them a Nick Jr. program. Or better yet. Why can’t BET get off their creative lazy azz and dig deep and give these kids a show that does not mimic white shows. Too many black people with talent with no representation.

    Aspire/TV One….where you at?

  21. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    I thought I was the only one who cringed when this commercial came on. Especially @ the moment the young girl in the pink w/ shades talks about the layaway and then does that hand gesture.

  22. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    I loved the commercial! I was literally laughing my face off!

  23. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    The commercial is annoying especially the little girl that says, yo momma is fiscally responsible….. but other than that I dont find it racists or thuggish. Just a silly commercial.

  24. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    I LOVED BOTH COMMERCIALS!!!! The children were saying yo momma jokes about how resourceful the next child’s mom was being!!! Waaay better than talking negative. Da Rich Kids are talking about being ready for school and what their parents bought for them. If some of the ignorant people would listen and not assume they wouldn’t make an A@% of themselves!!

  25. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    Also, just watched the other videos, love them!….. Big ups to Kmart for reaching out to Da Rich Kidzz for the “My Limo” song.. both songs are catchy and appropriate for children. … The little boy in the green shirt- I have no idea what he is yelling ,lol but cute.

  26. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    I love the bus commercial, and so do my kids. Those kiddos are talented.

    The school yard “yo mamma” commercial on the other hand, I feel is offensive. Please don’t make our children look ignorant.
    My 11&13 year old sons felt that the commercial “was making fun of me” & “the commercial makes us kids look uneducated.” Their words, not mine.

    Bad decision on that one kmart.

  27. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    i think my head exploded.

  28. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    Up until now, I have never seen the music video. But I have seen the “Yo Mama” commercial and it was hilarious. Seriously, I have no idea what these people are trippin’ about. This kids are rapping about going back to school and “checking” each other on how financially savvy their mother’s are…so I really don’t understand what the fuss is about.

  29. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    Oh! So any commercials with cute black kids rapping about going back to school is trashy, racist and stereotypical. So WHITE people think that the Zimmerman/Martin case WASN’T racist, and Paula Deen’s remarks WEREN’T racist, but THIS commercial is and they are up in arms?? It’s time to get off the internet…

    • July 30, 2013 - Reply

      @paintgurl40

      Sometimes I wonder if we (Americans) live on a planet where small aliens come into our bedrooms at night and zap our brains with “silly beams”. When we wake up in the morning and turn on our computers, we search for things to trash. Commercials are easy to complain about – the people, the clothes worn, the race of the people in the commercial, but hardly ever the product. I’m flabbergasted. I saw one complaint where the writer said “get this crap off my TV”. I don’t know – maybe try switching channels, or even something as radical as turning off the TV and reading – a book, not a comic book. Maybe then people will be able to discern what’s important – the death of an innocent child or some fat rich old woman cooking macaroni & cheese on TV.

  30. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    The Yo-Mama one was cringe-y, but only because the jokes were not actually yo-mama jokes. Or jokes. But that was the point. I notice they featured the phrase “axe you a question” prominently, I know who they are trying to target. I love the RichKids! I didn’t like them flashing money or the gold K-mart ring, but I actually like their tunes because they sing about kid stuff and are not negative. Back in the day we used to call the school bus the “cheese bus” and no one wanted to ride it. So I like the fact that they are making it cool.

    As far as the comments, Black people (or minorities) not being meek or subservient raises White America’s hackles on an instinctual level. I have no idea why, but I think for White America the problem is not that we are Black, but that we exist and seeing Black bodies, Black voices, Black rhythms featured so prominently and assertively makes them react negatively.

    My only complaint is that I don’t like corporations using us for their own benefit, but let’s hope that the kids got something out of it at least.

  31. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    The first time I saw this commercial I laughed my butt off. I think it’s cute and funny!

  32. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    I’m probably in the minority here, but these commercials suck. I also find it distasteful that urban is associated with black and that’s who they seem to primarily be targeting – black customers. While this gives these kids a chance to shine, it only promotes the idea that corporations are catering to what’s “in” (mainstream hip-hop culture either within the black diaspora or reappropriated) and are willing to use us (minorities) as a mean to sale their product. And what’s worse is this doesn’t even feel genuine. I’d like to think this wasn’t the case, but it comes across that way.

    I do, however, wonder what the comments would say if this were a Justin Beiber or a Miley Cyrus doing the raps and that goes for black and white commenters. I remember when twerking was a thing before Miley reappropriated it and you had some (maybe even most) blacks dismissive of it; however, when Miley started doing it, it became: “that belongs to us” or “we did it first.” Going forward, I’d like to see more minorities in the corporate marketing arena so we aren’t relegated to classifications such as “urban.”

  33. July 30, 2013 - Reply

    I love the commercials they are funny. But what makes them “urban”?

    • August 17, 2013 - Reply

      @Calidee

      I think it’s referred to as “urban” because of the assumption that rap and hip hop culture is so popular in cities (which isn’t entirely untrue).

  34. July 31, 2013 - Reply

    The make these kids seem like illiterate hood rats.

    On a positive note it appeals to their customer base which is great because I know that I am not one of them so I wouldn’t set foot in a Kmart.

    • August 13, 2013 - Reply

      @peggy

      Wow, you’re an idiot.

  35. July 31, 2013 - Reply

    It seems to me that Kmart got it right, financially speaking. Although only about 12% of the population African Americans’ buying power has increased 42% compared to non African Americans (Selig Center, 2007). Not saying that all AA are urban folks, but just saying 🙂

  36. July 31, 2013 - Reply

    This type of message is to be like a grown up and now we can listen to the real thing like a grown up. Then they go to a friends house with lax rules get a cd from lil Wayne or any of those types and if your house has any decent people you won’t have when your child gets home. These separate the races Hispanics about 10 Blacks about 10 and 1 little White girl. Racist MF !!! Nigs more popular now but in about 3 years not.

    • August 2, 2013 - Reply

      @Dick

      Is it necessary to call people Nigs? This message is positive. The commercials are supposed to promote back to school. They all send positive messages using a more Urban approach. I think the commercial is cute, not racist. They are rapping about things that are fun. Back to school, new clothes, riding a school bus! How does that mean that African Americans control things? And I assume you are referring to when PRESIDENT Obama is out of office, African Americans will go back into their “rightful place”! Ignorant people everywhere I look.

  37. July 31, 2013 - Reply

    there’s nothing racist about understanding cultural differences. What’s wrong with the rapping commercial? Would you expect an old Irish guy to be singing Delta Blues? Would you expect a black man to be singing an Italian opera? C’mon people, get over your sterile idea that every race should be homogenized to the point where they’re all exactly the same except for…..color.

    • August 13, 2013 - Reply

      @KingMoses

      I get what you are “trying” to say however “black” people aren’t the only culture that raps or likes rap music. It’s more of a generational thing than a black thing. To think otherwise kind of puts you in the same boat with the people you are in opposition with.

  38. July 31, 2013 - Reply

    I didn’t get it. My school bus is my limo? I guess I’m too old to be part of their desired demographic. It doesn’t make me want to shop at Kmart. But then my children are grown.

  39. August 1, 2013 - Reply

    I thought the, “Yo Mama,” commercials were funny. The rap commercial I didn’t like, perhaps because I don’t really understand what they’re saying…The commercials are cute, but as previously stated, I won’t be shopping at K-mart any time soon. The K-marts around here are filthy & outdated & the merchandise looks junky.

  40. August 1, 2013 - Reply

    I think they are disgusting! Way to go, teach our children improper English and tell them to act like they are ghetto kids. Why don’t they just call each other “nigga”? would that be cool too?

  41. August 2, 2013 - Reply

    First of all, let me say it feeds every single stereotype black folks have in 2013. Little black kids sitting in the BACK of the bus RAPPING and dressed ‘URBAN’ with GOLD CHAINS on. Thats not racist? Really? Keep in mind that K MART is run and owned by white folks. They are targeting black folks in the hood and the only way they could think of doing that is by being racist! Say what you want this commercial is RACIST and I dont like it! Then they add a lil white girl to make it seem ‘not racist’! BULLSHIT! Fuck K MART! Fuck these racist commercials!

  42. August 13, 2013 - Reply

    I am embarrassed for everyone involved with that ad campaign. The “Yo mama so fiscally responsible she put it on lay away.” Nope. Not even close. If your mother had her stuff together she would be able to save up or even use a credit card to purchase your school clothes/uniforms. She has 9 months that you are gone to school to be able to earn money to buy those things. The reason your mother puts things on lay away is because after getting her first credit card and 2-3 store cards she blew them out getting your Jordans, PS3s, fitted hats, and 40 inch LCD tv (this was years ago) among other things. Who knows, probably got a cell phone contract too and then added ‘family lines’ of 8 different friends so they could get free/cheap (1st gen) iPhones and then bombed out on that, Dish service and probably at&t DSL after not paying them since they don’t take a target store card. sigh. After that the creditors made it pretty impossible to get a bank account, coupled with the Student Loan that she never actually went to community college for and now has to run her whole life over $2500 bucks. It did mean many nights of fast food/delivery, a trip to the outlet malls with her girl and possibly a second tv for the kids room so the 3 and 5 year olds wouldn’t have to fight over what they watched at night, always waking her up. Using her Auntie’s name to register for and tank another store credit card severed that relation and cut off that sporadic income. She now gets various forms of county and state SSI and even that coupled with a $1 section 8 rent and no, kid, your mom still doesn’t care enough about you to save for a month and buy you a freaking $3.00 backpack or .50 for a pack of sigh pencils or even freaking paper. You would think that someone nearly twice your age would be able to scratch up some coin for their spawn but they can’t be bothered. They are more concerned with sitting. Maybe if your siblings had actually qualified for some sort of disorder like your cousin’s kids did then you might have the extra governmental scratch necessary for clothes, but she would probably get her 4th T-Mobile Android Froyo smartphone to keep up with “Snappa and Wan’ they must’ve bumped they heads on this facebook!” That is why lay away is not really fiscally responsible and yo mama is selling you short..shorty. Just my take on it. Gross series of commercials. The kids could be cute but the scenarios and the embarrassing lyrics and scripts are just plain bad. The other poster that made the ask body spray joke- that was pretty funny. The other person with the pizza joke-not so much.

  43. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    Fairly simple ideology if you ask me, an educated successful adult… The “Yo momma” commercial is attempting to attract Hispanic children first, African American children second, and Caucasian children third.. Given that the three races are spotlighted in that order (it is for a reason if you understand psychology and how the brain works). The least wealthy races are spotlighted with their jokes in a particular order so that the children see it and want to shop there and “be cool” like those kids…. Now the school bus commercial is mainly targeting African American children and families. It’s beyond well known that the rap industry is mainly made up of African Americans and only few Caucasian and Hispanics. Note that this commercial spotlighted African Americans with no Hispanics or Caucasians but one. This commercial was meant for younger African Americans to see it and think “Wow, those kids are awesome! They shop at K-Mart, lets go ask mommy and daddy if I can go”. The multi-multi million dollar company K-Mart could have found Caucasian or Hispanic children to do the same thing, but they know they will get more business from African American families.. This is all simple psychology and a way of making money, whether or not they include morals and ethics is on their own conscious, it is up to us as adults to decide whether we will shop there. Besides, K-Mart has only got more and more broke over the years, they will not last long, bad move on their part with these commercials. I will never be back on this random blog I for some reason stumbled upon, especially considering the writer sounds high school educated to begin with. Nevertheless, hope you all can understand life a little easier without such a haze in your eyes.

  44. August 17, 2013 - Reply

    I absolutely love the song and the choreography. I just don’t like the disrespectful nature (i.e. ‘don’t need a pass’, waking through the halls three wide like they own the place, putting your hand right up to the camera lens like it’s in our face, throwing gold confetti at the camera) and the casual language when it is so difficult to teach proper English to some children. Playful is great. But it just doesn’t seem to set a very good example for children’s behavior in school.

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