JC Penney Puts 'Lovemarks' to the Test

Marketer, Looking to Be Middle America's Retailer, Breaks First Saatchi Work

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Want a richer, more inspiring life? Shop at JC Penney.
JC Penney's new campaign from Saatchi carries the tagline 'Every Day Matters.'
JC Penney's new campaign from Saatchi carries the tagline 'Every Day Matters.'

That's the essence of the campaign that Saatchi & Saatchi's "Lovemarks" has birthed. With creative built around the positioning "Every Day Matters," the retailer said it's aiming to carve out a "deeper, more emotional and enduring" relationship with its customers.

"Our customers want the moments in their lives to be more exciting and more meaningful," Chairman-CEO Myron E. Ullman III said in a statement. "To address this, our mission will be to make JC Penney a source of encouragement and inspiration, offering style and quality at a smart price. We'll show our customers that what matters to them matters to us."

Jettisons 'It's All Inside'
The new positioning replaces the chain's 6-and-a-half-year-old "It's All Inside" effort four months after Penney parted with its longtime agency, Omnicom Group's DDB, Chicago. The earlier campaign focused on the variety and breadth of the retailer's merchandise.

The new positioning will be reflected in every customer touch point, from merchandise to customer service, and will carry over to marketing- and sales-associate training.

Using its ongoing sponsorship of the Academy Awards, Penney will launch the effort during the Feb. 25 awards telecast. Among the spots will be a 60-second anthem commercial called "Calendar," and other commercials will launch the retailer's private-label Ambrielle lingerie brand. The retailer will break its Spanish-language campaign "Cada Dia Cuenta," from Dieste Harmel Partners, Feb. 21 during Univision's "Premio lo Nuestro a la Musica Latina."

The broadcast campaign will air in heavy rotation to reach 89% of women ages 18 to 54 more than a dozen times.

Relaunch of websites
"Our new campaign will show that we are not just looking to sell merchandise; we are looking to sell an experience," Mike Boylson, Penney's chief marketing officer, said in the statement. "By focusing on life's little moments, we are able to show our customers how we can enhance their everyday lives, helping them make each day richer and more inspiring."

Print ads will begin running in consumer magazines in March, and the company will relaunch its JCP.com and JCPenney.net websites. The retailer spent $404 million in measured media in the first 11 months of 2006.

Bitten by the "Lovemarks" bug, Penney announced in September it had hired Saatchi as part of a long-range plan to become Middle America's preferred retailer. While Federated has said it is trying "to be 'America's Department Store,' JC Penney recognizes they have an opportunity to take market share from major department stores," said Jen Millard, director at retail consultant McMillan Doolittle.
Part of the retailer's effort to improve its merchandising mix, the private-label Ambrielle intimate-apparel brand is an alternative to Victoria's Secret and other higher-end lines.
Part of the retailer's effort to improve its merchandising mix, the private-label Ambrielle intimate-apparel brand is an alternative to Victoria's Secret and other higher-end lines.

Merchandise mix
To do that, the retailer has to expand department offerings to compete on a brand-to-brand basis, she said. "They need to move forward and take market share from a mall shopper that might have formerly gone to Macy's or Sears and show they're not the department store they once were. They're a new breed."

Eager to improve its merchandise mix to compete with higher-end brands, Penney has been establishing relationships with luxury brands. Following a successful integration with Sephora cosmetics boutiques in stores, Penney has been promoting the Ambrielle intimate-apparel brand to compete with Victoria's Secret and other higher-end lines. It also is rolling out the Liz & Co. line with Liz Claiborne. Earlier this month, the retailer announced plans to launch the American Living lifestyle brand created by Polo Ralph Lauren Global Brand Concepts in 2008.
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