YORK — J.C. Penney is sorry and it wants your
the gist of its latest ad, a public "mea
culpa" which the mid-priced department-store put
on its YouTube and Facebook pages.
ad, titled "It's no secret," shows shots of
women working, playing with their children and doing
other everyday activities.
J.C. Penney changed," a voiceover states.
"Some changes you liked, and some you didn't. But
what matters with mistakes is what we learn. We
learned a very simple thing, to listen to you."
ad comes after the Plano, Texas-based company earlier
this month fired its CEO, Ron Johnson, after 17 months
on the job and rehired his predecessor Mike Ullman
ambitious changes included getting rid of most sales
and bringing in new, hip brands. The strategy was
designed to attract younger, wealthier shoppers in a
bid to reinvent the stodgy retailer, but it alienated
Penney's loyal customers and caused sales to plummet.
ad acknowledges the missteps and asks customers to
return to its stores.
back to J.C. Penney. We heard you, now we'd love to
see you," the voice-over states.
TV spot is in contrast with the chain's "fair and
square" advertising campaign that accompanied
Johnson's revamp. Those ads were colorful and
whimsical and did not give specifics about products.
In one spot, a dog jumped through a hula hoop held by
a little girl. The text read: "No more jumping
through hoops. No coupon clipping. No door busting.
Just great prices from the start."
new spot buys the company some time, but the hard part
is next: telling customers what specific changes
they're making, said Allen Adamson, managing director
of branding firm Landor Associates in New York.
you are in a freefall, you sometimes need to call a
time out and say, 'Wait a second. We're going to get
this under control,'" he said. "The answer
may be further down the road as to why they come
Penney did not return a call for comment.