November 24, 2008

JCPenney Selling Fear for the Holidays

JCPenney Company, Inc. is aiming to get younger consumers to buy diamond jewelry online at The Jewelry Store. The effort includes viral elements, a new Web site, Facebook, print ads, and a splash of guilt.

The campaign, "Beware the Doghouse," via N.Y.-based Saatchi & Saatchi and digital agency Razorfish, lets people put their spouses or partners in the proverbial "Doghouse" for bad gifting. How does one get out of the doghouse? Diamonds.

A Web site,, includes a short humorous film that features a clueless husband who is suffering a Dantean fate for having given his wife a dual-bagged vacuum cleaner for their anniversary: He is banished to the "Doghouse," wherein other hapless men are paying for their sins by folding laundry in perpetuity and learning to express their feelings as they eat out of dog bowls. The men lament the bad gifts they gave their wives or girlfriends and plot their escape.

Seriously though, who still buys non-Dyson bag vacuums these days? That's the real shame here.

And I find it funny that JCPenney is doing this, particularly since I was flipping through their mailer a week ago and came across 2 "doghouse" gifts parents should beware of:

Knock-off iPods and Wiis. Kids don't want to have to explain to their friends that their parents are too cheap to get real thing, and that's why they can't trade video games. Now, THAT'S the doghouse to beware of!

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