JC Penney Goes Philanthropic (Ellen Who?)
This month, JC Penney launched a new philanthropic effort called “jcp cares,” whereby they will be donating money to different charities each month – and allowing customers to contribute as well by rounding up their purchases to the nearest dollar. The first charity to benefit is USO (the organization that lifts the spirits of our troops and families – a la Bob Hope).
But I digress.
Speaking of entertainers (like that segue?), the retailer has named country music’s “nice guy” Blake Shelton as their brand ambassador to kick off the “jcp cares” program.
But what about jcp’s controversial spokesperson Ellen Degeneres? Interestingly, there is no mention of her at all with this program, which is clearly aimed at the mainstream heartstrings of America. On the outside, it seemed that jcp enjoyed the attention that came along with the funny, successful and openly gay Degeneres: the “million moms” claiming they would boycott the store, opposers of the million moms claiming they would now support the store even more, and unexpected airtime on Ellen’s self-titled ratings-busting show:
Is this a seismic strategy shift by the floundering competitor of Macy’s (whose positioning seems to be sale / coupon / discount / repeat)? Personally, I hope not. Perhaps jcp cares is simply another way the retailer is engaging consumers…I mean, a video of Ellen dancing while Shelton croons would get views from both sides of the political coin, right?