Saturday, February 21, 2009

the doghouse

i'm officially in the doghouse with willy & hoover today, for not letting them go outside in what i SO DESPERATELY HOPE will be the last snowfall of the year. (this photo is from last year). that of course does not mean i get to hang up my parka -- have to wear that until at least late may to avoid being below my admittedly somewhat narrow acceptable temperature range of 70 - 71 degrees.

anyway, it caused me to remember that recently someone mentioned that i'd not cited j.c. penney's doghouse campaign in my "faves" post from a couple of weeks ago. i can't believe i forgot to include it, because it is truly incredible marketing genius at work.

Multiple reasons why it's great:

1) it's intelligent without being too highbrow. this is the difference, i think, between, say, GEICO's gekko spots -- which are truly funny but i think potentially a little too upscale for the mass audience they're seeking. i suppose they're trying to balance these out with the caveman spots, which are terrible, and so if that's their strategy, i'd say it's not quite sound. besides, they're giving up a ton of recognition and ability to make either campaign better by splitting media investment between the two. doghouse nails a universal human truth -- which comes across no better than in my favorite line, "not a big fan of that look" -- that couples have experienced since ... well, caveman times.

2) it's a story that demands attention. the direction on this piece is fabulous and it's impossible to stop watching it, even if you've seen it multiple times. in fact, each time i see it, i see (or hear) something i didn't notice in the previous 1027 viewings (1028 if you count the one i had to do before writing this post). i've listened to the audio track by itself because there is some really funny stuff going on in the background which you can miss if you're watching the vid.

3) it's got opportunities for involvement. penney's has continued to improve the site, including a much easier way to put people in the doghouse (via a link to facebook), photos of them, and those who've been released, and links thru to material on their diamond offering and jewlery services. as well as the original vid that started it all.
i personally think they oughtta figure out a way to update their youtube viewership in realtime -- more than a million views since 11/21. that's some serious traffic.

yes, it's too bad that more of those folks didn't run right out to penney's and buy diamonds in december -- sales were down 10% for the quarter, profits down 50%. ouch! JCP looks just like any other retail stock right now, or for that matter, any kind of stock at all. but we all know that brand building isn't for this quarter, or even the quarter down the road ... it's for 3 to 5 years from now, and will require a lot of continued investment and care in the meantime. i hope penney's keeps it up, though, coz as soon as i have a couple extra dollars, i'll be heading in their direction.

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