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Posts Tagged ‘J.C. Penney’

14 PR and Social Media Winners from Super Bowl XLVIII

superbowl2That was a boring Super Bowl in every way. Not only was the game itself a blowout, but most of the ads were lackluster and no brand recreated Oreo’s breakout success on social.

Still, a few companies and personalities did manage some clever nuggets, which we will now review.

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How to Help Your Brand Connect to LGBT Audiences

Now that the majority of Americans (if not the majority of American states) have accepted same-sex marriage and effectively welcomed the LGBT community into mainstream culture, brand strategists are brainstorming over how to make the most of a large and passionate demographic. Why? Well, gay men and women do “have the largest amount of disposable income of any niche market,” so…money.

That’s according to Community Marketing Inc., a gay-centric research organization that just released its 7th annual LGBT community survey of more than 30,000 consumers in 100 different countries. Their findings should help marketing/PR pros better understand the community.

The fact that LGBT individuals “keep up with online media” isn’t much of a revelation, but here are some more interesting conclusions:

  • “LGBT” is the preferred term for gays, bisexuals and transgender individuals, though gay men are equally receptive to the phrase “gay and lesbian”. Words like “queer”, “rainbow” and “gay-welcoming” are less effective (probably because they’re condescending).
  • Consumers prefer that corporate communications refer to their legal relationships with the terms “spouse” or “husband/wife”, though “partner” also works. Dated terms like “significant other” and “gay couple” don’t test so well.

Breaking Bad PR Motor Home to Sell Marketing Meth to Public

We love Breaking Bad just as much as the rest of the public. So when we see a motor home not being driven by an octogenarian, we know nothing good is going on inside that roving lab of illegal activity.

Since the recession rained down on our industry like a sci-fi meteor shower, PR companies across the globe have slashed travel expenses and relied on technology and old-fashioned ingenuity to execute strategies to reach the public in convincing ways.

So we were more surprised than Pinkman buckling his belt on a rooftop to learn that VP&C, a New York public relations agency, shelled out $50,000 to drive a motor home from New York City to Des Moines, Iowa, and back to promote products such as, according to this article in the New York Times, a “Dornbracht kitchen faucet, Mohawk carpet, J.C. Penney home goods, dinnerware by Q Squared and cabinet knobs from Rocky Mountain Hardware.”

This road trip which includes “five executives and staff members of the agency” is being touted as a marketing effort with the motor home being used as a mobile showroom. We can only guess that this group has named their mobile showroom “Los PR Hermanos” because they’ve got to be smoking some serious crystal blue to think anyone with a home built on a foundation would buy products showcased in a motor home in some crappy parking lot.

According to the aforementioned article, Los PR Hermanos has had to alter its schedule and cancel an appearance in Pittsburg because of traffic delays due to slow-moving tractors in the western part of the state.

As with Breaking Bad, we’re just dying to know how this ends.

J.C. Penney to America: ‘It’s Not You, It’s Me. (Now Please Come Back.)’

Old-school retailer J.C. Penney faces several big challenges moving forward—but executing social media strategy isn’t one of them.

The company fired CEO/former Apple man Ron Johnson in April after a big sales dive and followed his exit with an all-media campaign designed to address the backlash over controversial changes adopted during his tenure. It all started with this apologetic TV spot:

JCP continued the campaign by turning its social media forums into customer service complaint lines, promoting the #jcpListens tag and asking for feedback on Facebook and Twitter in order to absorb frustrated shoppers’ many suggestions on how to improve the business.

The chain didn’t just ask for ideas; it got specific.

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Garment Industry Opts for Makeover After Bangladesh Disaster

The factory collapse that killed more than 1,100 people in Bangladesh this April is by no means the first tragedy to strike the garment industry in recent years—but it does look like the culmination of an ongoing PR challenge that could reshape the way major clothing brands market their products. The earliest evidence of this change comes on social media, where companies that had operations in the factory have already begun responding to the demands of consumers and labor activists.

The New York Times reports that many businesses and industry groups now plan to follow the food industry’s example by offering the public more detailed information about how and where their clothes are made. H&M and Zara have agreed to sign a new “factory safety accord,” and major names like Disney, Nike, and Walmart may follow with campaigns designed to appropriate the “green,” “organic,” and “fair trade” themes favored by food and household goods marketers in recent years. The purpose of this material, of course, will be to highlight the brands’ corporate social responsibility efforts and distance them from horrific accidents like the one in Bangladesh.

It’s nothing new for fashion: upstarts like American Apparel began using their own “fair trade” practices as key selling points some time ago. Yet, despite AA’s success, retailers like Maggie’s Organics and Everlane (tagline “Luxury Basics. Radical Transparency.”) remain few and far between.

Not for long.

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