So, hopefully, you are starting to see that my thing is to poke fun at companies. I will also poke fun at government and nonprofits from time to time, so don’t worry. I just think that being smart, real and honest in business is not rocket science and yet every day hundreds of new failures in this attenpt emerge. Some, more subtle than others. Not this one.
Have you been keeping track of JC Penny? Yeah, they’re JCP now. Started this whole campaign right before Christmas with these horrible ads of people screaming. It took me a few times watching them with the sound down before I understood it, but they were apparently screaming because the stuff they just purchased was now on sale for less and they missed it. JCP said, never again. No more special sales, couponing, or “this-day-onlys.” From now on, JCP exclaimed, you’ll get the lowest price for everything, every day and that’s “fair and square,” their new tag line, which matches they’re uncreative, new square logo.
The incredibly disjointed and relentless campaign continued on TV, radio, and, I noticed, on Slacker Radio on my Blackberry. A whole series of ads from the screaming housewives, to Ellen Degeneres, to some kitchy, 1960’s seasons montage, to circus references and who knows what else, all in exclamation that they would no longer subject us all to the tortuous and disingenuous practice of the sale, coupon or special offer. Okay, good for them. Profits are down, future’s dim, seems like a great fresh way to reinvigorate interest, sales and trust in a new and improved brand. I applauded JCP. Good for you I thought – taking a risk to set yourselves a part from the pack. If only more companies would do this I thought. Only, JCP actually didn’t.
Their latest series of ads have revealed their true selves with their introduction to their special 1st and 3rd Fridays. They’re calling them, their “best price” Fridays. Where they bring in new stock and give old stock their “best price” to move them out. Um. Really? How is this different from a sale or a “this-day-only” that they promised they would never do again? You lied JCP. You didn’t really change or take a risk. You cleverly taunted us with a package of ideas that seemed really new for retail, and you literally screamed it at us on TV. But, we see now that you’re still like all the others. You are still square, old JC Penny’s in your square, retail box of ideas. At least they got the new logo right.