JC Penney Scores Word-Of-Mouth Marketing On Facebook

By Jackie Cohen Comment

Go, JC Penny! The retail chain has achieved a degree of virality, or word of mouth marketing, usually enjoyed by non-commercial concerns on Facebook.

The most forwarded content on Facebook usually has little to nothing to do with business. Except JC Penny is enjoying a a lot of word-of-mouth marketing on Facebook thanks to celebrity spokesperson Ellen DeGeneres, and the actual advertisements haven’t even premiered yet.

A fair amount of the virality resulted from external factors –the homophobic group One Million Moms threatening to boycott JC Penney because Ellen is gay — but the retailer clearly chose the right spokesperson in the first place. She’s a popular topic on Facebook right now, and so is JC Penney by association.

Videos showing the retailer’s Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson speaking in support of Ellen are circulating on Facebook as much as footage of the comedian. You can see examples of both beneath this post.

Pages supporting her and the retailer continue to crop up, including One Million People Who Support Ellen For JC Penney, which in a matter of days garnered more fans than the page of the homophobic group One Million Moms.

Readers, what lessons do you see for other retailers in how JC Penny achieved virality on Facebook?