JCPenney, the once-dominant American retail chain that has taken steps to right itself after a series of missteps in recent years, has chosen a new creative agency to lead its revival.
Is giving to others the greatest gift of all? Even the sourest Scrooge might admit the idea has merit after checking out JCPenney's #JustGotJingled campaign from EVB and Victors & Spoils.
Morris the Cat, whose 9Lives cat food ads from the '70s and '80s are all over YouTube, shakes off the cobwebs and joins the 21st century in the brand's new campaign—becoming the first cat to wear goofy smart-cam glasses in "Cat's Eye View," a sort-of-ARG interactive experience from agency
It's a wonder that cat-related brands don't already rule the Internet. Cat-food brand and renowned jingle lover Meow Mix makes a move in that direction with an amusing and even potentially useful parody of Kickstarter—called Catstarter—envisioned as a way to crowdsource cool new cat-related inventions. Ad agency EVB conceived the site as a playful, feline-focused version of the well-known crowdfunding platform. But instead of actually backing Catstarter projects financially, you can just click on the ones you like, and Meow Mix will produce the most popular ones. The site launches with three products; the top vote getter will go into production this spring. (The heated companion keyboard is an inspired one that I'll back right now.) It's also an R&D lab of sorts, as the brand also wants people to suggest ideas for making kitty lives better—something we can all get behind, yes? Full credits below.
Let's take a break from the pre-Super Bowl ad madness to take a look at a spot for that other big February sporting event—that's right, we're talking about the Sochi Winter Olympics—that might be just as good as any of the best ads we'll see this Sunday. Over the next few weeks, JCPenney will be encouraging customers to round up purchases to the nearest dollar to support the U.S. Olympic Committee. To promote the campaign, Penney came up with an extremely random but also sort-of-genius concept: an Olympics-themed remake (by EVB and Victors & Spoils) of Blackstreet's 1996 hip-hop classic "No Diggity" featuring alpine skier (and 2006 gold medal winner) Ted Ligety. And if that's not bizarre-slash-wonderful enough for you, the retailer got Blackstreet's own C. Black to perform it and star in the video. "Go Ligety" loosely parodies Blackstreet's original "No Diggity" video, but with JCPenney being a family brand and all, there are some pretty major changes: Rather than having scantily clad video girls emerge from a limo, the "Go Ligety" backup dancers are a group of minivan-driving suburban moms. Instead of lyrics like "Strictly bitch, you don't play around/Cover much ground, got game by the pound," we get, "There is no better way/To say hooray for Team USA." And this time, the puppet version of C. Black has a friend: a Lil' Ligety marionette! A word of advice before watching this spot: Be prepared to have "Go Ligety" stuck in your head for the next 24 hours. That is, if you haven't started humming it already. Credits below.
That was fast. Six months after hiring Young & Rubicam to lead its creative efforts, JCPenney has replaced Y&R with a trio of agencies: Doner, EVB and Victors & Spoils.
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