Kim Kardashian channels the 1990s for cheeky Skims infomercials
Just when it seemed the Kardashians had conquered every possible marketing format, mother-daughter duo Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner have resurrected another advertising formula: the ’90s-style infomercial.
Yep, the royal blue 1-800 screen and overly enthusiastic voiceover that once brought you Cash for Gold and Zoobooks has found its latest product: Kardashian’s controversial Skims underwear line.
On Monday, a nostalgic Kardashian shared the first in a series of cheesy, made-for-TV spots promoting the form-fitting undergarments, featuring Kardashian family matriarch Jenner and “Real Housewives” stars Lisa Rinna and Kyle Richards.
First up was the “everyday smoothing and sculpting bra that holds you in.”
“The performance construction with flexibility and comfort — I mean, we can actually breathe and be perky at the same time,” Jenner, in full TV makeup, reads directly to the camera before cutting to a smiley, bouncy actress modeling the accessory.
True to classic infomercial form, all-caps key words such as “FLEXIBILITY & COMFORT!” float across the screen in bold, extra-legible font. And, of course, no infomercial would be complete without some painfully scripted banter from the generic, gray studio couches.
“The silicone band around the bottom stays in place because you don’t want sweet chariots to swing low,” Jenner quips, prompting high-pitched laughter from her co-hosts before adding, slyly, “Who the hell wrote that? I mean, the writers on this project.”
“I do not want my sweet chariots to swing low,” Rinna chimes in, clad in a ’90s-esque cheetah print dress and hoop earrings. “Whatever it is, it shouldn’t be swinging low.”
Cue the in-your-face, bright blue purchase slide, featuring an animated pop-up window of Kardashian lounging in her Skims, all valid credit card options, phone number, website, price (plus shipping and handling, naturally), color and size ranges and one last all-caps “ORDER NOW!” for good measure.
If you call the phone number, by the way, you’ll reach a recording: “Thank you for calling Skims. Skims solutionwear will be restocked on Nov. 20 at 9 a.m. PST, 12 p.m. EST. Join the wait list now at Skims.com to be the first to shop.”
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The retro commercial is the latest piece of an elaborate promotional roll-out for Kardashian’s clothing brand, which kicked off to a rocky start in June under the since-ditched name Kimono. Despite standing by the title initially, Kardashian later changed it to Skims amid mounting criticism that the original Kimono appropriated and commodified Japanese culture.
Since the rebrand, Skims has released several videos on YouTube and social media featuring models of various skin tones, shapes and sizes discussing what makes them feel self-conscious and confident while strutting in the shapewear. In keeping with the nostalgia fare, Skims has also released several Polaroid photos highlighting different body-hugging pieces.
Across Twitter and Instagram, the brand has amassed more than 800,000 followers since its summer launch. More items featured in Kardashian’s commercial series so far include the “sculpting bodysuit” and the “solution short.”