JC Penney Begs Customers to 'Come Back' in New Ad

J.C. Penney wants you back. It's sorry it ever tried to do away with coupons and sales. It wants you to know, customers, that you're the love of its life and that its learned from its mistakes. So, please come back? Pretty please? In an unusual move, the troubled retailer has released 15 and 30 second commercials apologizing to customers.
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Hayley Phelan
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J.C. Penney wants you back. It's sorry it ever tried to do away with coupons and sales. It wants you to know, customers, that you're the love of its life and that its learned from its mistakes. So, please come back? Pretty please? In an unusual move, the troubled retailer has released 15 and 30 second commercials apologizing to customers.
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J.C. Penney wants you back. It's sorry it ever tried to do away with coupons and sales. It wants you to know, customers, that you're the love of its life and that its learned from its mistakes. So, please come back? Pretty please?

In an unusual move, the troubled retailer has released 15 and 30 second commercials apologizing to customers.

The ad spots feature a nostalgic mix of vintage J.C. Penney storefronts and modern-day shoppers, set to a voiceover that reads:

It's no secret, recently J.C. Penney changed. Some changes you liked and some you didn't, but what matters from mistakes is what we learn. We learned a very simple thing, to listen to you. To hear what you need, to make your life more beautiful. Come back to J.C. Penney, we heard you. Now, we'd love to see you.

The retailer, which hired Ron Johnson at the end of 2011 and fired him in April of this year, is a prime example of how a comeback strategy can go horribly wrong. One of the critical mistakes the retailer made under Johnson was to do away with coupons and sales in favor of "everyday low prices," alienating its core customer.

Now it needs to make a comeback from its comeback--and step one, seemingly, is to offer up a mea culpa to consumers. From reinstating former CEO Mike Ullman (whom Johnson originally replaced in 2011) to phasing sales and coupons back in, it seems J.C. Penney is doing everything it can to erase the past two years. But will it work?

We suppose the retailer had to acknowledge its recent troubles to customers in some way--but this ad seems a little desperate to us.

A J.C. Penney spokesperson told WWD that in addition to broadcast the ads "can be viewed online through our social media channels to encourage more customer dialogue," and will run only for a few days before the brand unrolls a Mother's Day campaign. Watch the commercial below. What do you think of it?