Sunday, April 1, 2012
Confused between JCP and Target ads? You're not alone...
Last week I recapped how Target rose to become the leader of the cheap/chic retail genre, but I neglected to mention one important fact: the longtime agency they parted ways with - Peterson Milla Hooks – is now the agency of record for JC Penney (or JCP, as they now dub themselves). Which is why you may get the new JCP ads confused for Target ads, as my husband did last night. One of the new JCP ads came on TV (very similar to this one from February) and he said “wait, I thought this was an ad for Target?” He basically articulated the same thing I’ve been thinking for months: while the new JCP ads are cute, they seem awfully familiar in style and substance to the ones that put Target on the map. Even their print ads (like the sample shown here) evoke the old Target look/feel.
Several high-level Target execs have left for JCP recently, so I’m not surprised they tapped Peterson Milla Hooks as their new agency. They’re a familiar and “tried and true” entity, so it seems natural they’d hire them. And perhaps the confusion is partly intentional in order to make JCP look “young and hip” and to try to lure away Target’s customer base. It just seems as if in re-branding their company, JCP would want to try something fresh and new vs. re-hashing ideas that have already been done before.