J.C. Penney wants to draw its long-lost customers back into stores by urging them to "Jingle More Bells" this holiday season.
In an effort to reconnect with customers and "reclaim" its brand, the retailer launched its first national TV holiday campaign Tuesday under the marketing leadership of former Kraft Foods exec Debra Berman, who has been senior VP-marketing since July. Along with newly appointed agency Doner, Ms. Berman said she hopes the ads hit a sweet spot with consumers "right between charm and sass," whereby shoppers are convinced the retailer is the place to do most of their holiday shopping thanks to its value message.
Yet, promotions will not be the ads' focal point. Instead, the retailer has taken traditional Christmas carols and re-imagined the lyrics to be about shopping and finding the right gift for everyone on the list. The slogans "More Fa-La Lah for Less Mou La-Lah" and "All I Want for Christmas is My Two-Day Sale" will run alongside the six spots.
"We're in a position where we want to make sure people reconsider us again," said Ms. Berman in an interview. "We have a commitment to a huge population that's very diverse and shame on us if we don't connect to the culture. It's a culture of deal making and running out and getting offers. So we're working a big deal with singing about it."
The "Santa Baby" ad launches Tuesday, with carolers asking Santa to "slip a discount under the tree for me" and promoting a 48-hour sale and extra 15% off with coupon.
In one of the upcoming ads called "Feliz Navidad," the group of seven carolers moves through the store on a snow-covered trolley crooning: "A fleece for my dad. Boots in mom's size. Oh, wow, all the shopping must be awesome for my thighs. I want to give my family more this Christmas. I want big deals galore this Christmas. I want to share and more and more this Christmas from the bottom of me grande heart."
During another forthcoming ad, "Good King Robert," carolers chide a male shopper: "Robert waited way too long. He is in a panic. He has no clue what to get. He's looking slightly manic. Point him to the jewelry so he won't buy a vacuum."