Kmart may be on some shoppers’ naughty list after running a holiday ad more than 100 days before Christmas.
The commercial features a giant gingerbread man sneaking up on a woman working at her desk.
When the shocked woman turns to find the gingerbread man standing right behind her the viewer is warned: “Don’t let the holidays sneak up on you.”
The ad was designed to promote the retailer’s layaway plan, which allows shoppers to reserve an item by making scheduled payments.
But since the ad started running, many customers expressed their disapproval on Kmart’s Facebook page.
“Really Kmart? Christmas? IN SEPTEMBER?? That is wrong,” Nicole Damato posted on Facebook.
“Come on Kmart, Christmas is in December. Your store is putting up artificial tree’s already. Please STOP!!” Joanne Smith posted.
Kmart, which issued responses to seemingly every post, sent this reply to Smith: “Hi Joanne – We understand not everyone is ready to talk about the upcoming season but it will arrive soon. Why not get prepared now?”
However, Cindy Hall-Muehlberger, who recalled how the layaway plan helped her family when she was a single mother, praised Kmart for giving customers the purchasing option.
“I just read how some viewers of the new Kmart Gingerbread Man commercial believe it is too early for Christmas shopping. When I was a young, single mother of two little girls back in the 1980s, Kmart’s lay-away saved Christmas for us. It isn’t to push Christmas, but to let families, that struggle financially, know there is an option. They can buys gifts for their family and not have to charge it or fear they will not be able to afford gifts. Good job Kmart for understanding!” Hall-Muehlberger posted.
Ad Age, a publication that covers the advertising industry, noted that Kmart’s first holiday ad of 2012 aired on Oct. 28.
Other retailers, such as Walmart and Toys-R-Us, were also attempting to get shoppers to start thinking about the holidays by issuing “hot toys” lists.