An Integrated Brand Immersive Platform
Created and Produced by Executive Visions Inc.
Over the past five years, JCPenney has challenged itself to create a new direction, to build on a century of accomplishment by shaping a contemporary brand, inspired by its customers’ style…and relevant to every part of her life.
With new retail, merchandising and operations strategies in place, the company's CMO, Mike Boylson, set his sights on expanding and deepening the consumer relationship… to make an emotional connection with powerful, consumer-focused marketing to tell the full story of who they are as a company…and give compelling reasons for making JCPenney their retailer for a lifetime.
As part of that vision, the company sought to advance its legacy of community involvement through The JCPenney Afterschool Fund, a leading champion of families and children.
The Challenge: Engage the hearts, minds and souls of consumers with the contemporary brand promises of JCPenney, while raising awareness of America’s Afterschool Issue.
Enter Executive Visions Inc… and the creation of an integrated, brand-immersive platform that is helping JCPenney accomplish both.
JCPenney Jam: Concert for America’s Kids
JCPenney Jam is an industry first, cross-media initiative built around the biggest names in music in nearly every genre:
Mary J. Blige
Jon Bon Jovi
3 Doors Down
More than anything, “music” connects to the heart and soul of today’s consumer. Relevant across all demographics, it’s a central part of her lifestyle that stirs passion and emotion. With music as the emotional driver, EVI used a broad mix of communication channels to deliver powerful messaging about the contemporary JCPenney. More than a one-time event, JCPenney Jam is an “ongoing” platform, strategically linked to the long-term business plan and touching all aspects of the company; from merchandising, advertising and promotion, to online initiatives, live events and PR.
At the creative center of the platform…a live concert spectacular before 6,000 fans at LA’s historic Shrine Auditorium … musically directed by 14-time Grammy-Award winner David Foster and hosted by network celebrities Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw.
The concert was recorded in spectacular high-definition television with 21-cameras capturing every performance. From there, EVI produced a captivating JCPenney branded CBS Primetime Network Special, creating an exclusive lifestyle connection between JCPenney, chart-topping musical artists and millions of consumers.
To communicate key messages during the broadcast, EVI produced a series of seven JCPenney Afterschool Interstitial spots to bump in and out of musical performances. The 30-second, PSA-style spots caused viewers to reflect on the importance of the situation and encouraged them to get involved. The creative positioning of the interstitials blurred the lines between program and commercial time, and effectively branded the show “JCPenney”.
After the broadcast, a proprietary JCPenney Jam DVD/CD went on sale throughout the JCPenney retail system, dramatically extending the message impact and raising vital funds for after school programs. The DVD/CD is taking JCPenney directly into the lives of consumers as part of their permanent home entertainment collection.
The launch and build-up of JCPenney Jam was extensive. Promotional efforts leveraged all consumer touch points including: JCPenney In-Store, Catalog, and Internet retail channels… TV, Print and Web Advertising…and a focused national PR campaign. Participating artists spread the word on programs like Dr. Phil, Entertainment Tonight, CMT, and The View.
Jam partners Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw spoke extensively of the initiative on the Dr. Phil Show, including a dedicated 20 minute feature segment on the day preceding the JCPenney Jam CBS special. The duo also created a proprietary Afterschool DVD to provide practical solutions for parents. All net profits benefited afterschool programs across the country.
An all-out internet initiative revolved around a custom JCPenney Jam website on AOL Music. The site served as a portal to everything about the Jam and provided strategic links with jcpenney.com…jcpenneyafterschool .org… plus partner sites DrPhil.com and NFL.com.
The platform continued on Thanksgiving Day 2006 as superstar Josh Groban spoke for the JCPenney Afterschool Fund on the CBS Thanksgiving Day Parade and performed his new single “You Are Loved”. Groban’s album “Awake” was featured as the 2006 JCPenney First Gift with all net profits going to support afterschool programs. The TV special re-aired on NBC ION TV in April 2007.
From its beginnings in November of 2005, the ongoing platform has spanned one full year. More than 200 million emotionally-charged consumer impressions have been made, while clearly positioning JCPenney and the JCPenney Afterschool Fund as socially responsible leaders.