PENNEY'S SWITCHES PRIVATE-LABEL ARIZONA LINE TO DDB NEEDHAM: IMPROVED SHARE SOUGHT IN MOVE OF $20 MIL ACC'T

By Published on .

J.C. Penney Co., fighting to improve overall performance by strengthening its private-label products, has moved outside its regular ad agency to beef up ads for its Arizona jeans and apparel line.

Penney's named DDB Needham Worldwide, Dallas, as agency for the $20 million-plus account following a review that included the Richards Group, also Dallas. The last major campaign for Arizona came from Penney's agency, Temerlin McClain, Dallas.

PRIVATE LABEL KEY

"Getting back our share of wallet does lie in our private-label brands," said Gale Duff-Bloom, president-marketing and company communications.

In September 1997, Penney's began experimenting with separate in-store shops for Arizona and its other brands, such as St. John's Bay. The shops include large lifestyle graphics similar to those in specialty stores, such as The Gap, as well as a reduction in merchandise for an uncluttered feel.

In that test, the Arizona-brand shops showed a 30% sales increase, said Ms. Duff-Bloom.

Starting this month, the shops are being rolled out to all 1,200 Penney's stores.

For Arizona, Penney's lead store brand, the new challenge is a falloff of interest by young people after their parents stop buying jeans for them, at about age 16. Once they get a part-time job during high school, said Ms. Duff-Bloom, they start opting for designer or specialty-store jeans. They return when money gets tight again in college, she said.

CAMPAIGN FLAT WITH TEENS

Last fall, Penney's backed Arizona with an ad campaign from Temerlin that showed a group of youngsters walking down a street criticizing advertisers who try to tell them what is cool. The tag: "Just show us."

But teens bombarded the company's Web site with negative comments about the advertising. And, sales remained flat.

Temerlin will remain the agency for other Penney's private labels, such as St. John's Bay, for which it will unveil a new spring campaign.

MacManus Group's TeleVest will continue to buy all TV for Penney's. Temerlin buys magazines for the retailer, and DDB Needham will do non-TV buying for

In this article:
Most Popular