Saatchi Bows New Penney Effort

NEW YORK Saatchi & Saatchi this week launches a back-to-school campaign for JC Penney that features TV spots, Webisodes and print ads that target children and “tweens.”

Spending on the effort, which also includes sponsorships and an in-store promotion, was not disclosed. Last year, Penney spent more than $460 million in major measured media, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Total expenditures in the first quarter of 2007 were nearly $100 million, per TNS.

The campaign continues to use the “Every day matters” tagline that Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi here introduced in February, five months after winning the creative account from Omnicom Group’s DDB in Chicago.

The new spots, which break Monday, include “Doodle Heart,” which centers around the doodlings of a girl who has a crush on a guy, and “Zombies,” which depicts headless outfits seeking out kids in school hallways. A 60-second version of the latter will be shown in theaters during previews for PG and PG-13 movies, according to Penney.

The Webisodes revolve around the concept of placing high school teenagers in unfamiliar cliques. A series of eight episodes will be shown on a back-to-school microsite and teased via a trailer that will run in theaters.

The series, dubbed “Flipped,” also will feature clothing designers Chip and Pepper Foster, who will provide “fashion and life advice,” the company said. (The Fosters, who are twins, are launching a line of denim and sportswear clothes for juniors and young men that will be sold at Penney.)

“While traditional marketing remains an important part of our approach, we are focused on incorporating new components into this year’s back-to-school campaign that will truly reach youth in an authentic way,” said Mike Boylson, chief marketing officer at Penney in Plano, Texas.

The sponsorships include Hispanic music award show Premio Juventud and the 2007 Teen Choice Awards. And, as part of a promotion urging teenagers to visit Penney, create outfits, photograph them and upload the images to the company’s Web site, two teens will win the chance to be presenters at the Teen Choice Awards on Aug. 23.