JCPenney's Enough is Enough -- 2.1.12 sale began Wednesday, after the department store built buzz by running a controversial guerrilla ad campaign for the past week.
The Enough is Enough -- 2.1.12 campaign is more than your average sale, JCPenney claims, as it contends that all the store's prices will be permanently slashed by 40 percent, saving customers the annoyance of having to parse through sales, coupons and price slashes.
JCPenney, which has taken to calling itself JCP in an effort to seem hip, has been inundating television viewers with its Enough is Enough -- 2.1.12 commercials for days.
The ads begin with a series of clips of shoppers screaming, blood-curdling cries in response to the frustration of missing big sales, getting junk mail and trying to decipher how sales fliers work. The screen then goes white and the words Enough is Enough appear in stark-red letters, followed by 2.1.12 and a boxy JCPenney logo.
The ads have grated on some viewers, like the folks at AdNauseous.com and CommercialsIHate.com.
A VERY STRONG early contender for worst commercial of 2012, don't you think guys? I know we still have all 11 of the rest of the months left - but I don't see anything beating this one unless they were TRYING, one CommercialsIHate.com user wrote on the site's forum.
They have been accompanied by a number of other features, including a major online push. JCPenney's official YouTube account describes the Enough is Enough -- 2.1.12 campaign as follows:
Crazy sales? Endless coupons? Confusing Deals? Go to our Facebook page to scream NO into the NO! Meter http://jcp.is/yheW1f. Things are changing at jcp on 2.1.12 -- check back then!
The store also issued a press release on Jan. 25 describing the campaign, the store's new strategy, and other plans it has going forward, including the following:
Beginning in August of this year, JCPenney will begin a month-by-month, shop-by-shop strategy to update all stores with new and exciting merchandise and presentation. Two to three shops will be installed monthly, each and every month, over a four-year transformation period, including the debut of Town Square during 2013. These initiatives will culminate in the complete transformation of jcpenney by the end of 2015.
JCPenney declined to comment Wednesday morning, but the store's extensive new manifesto goes pretty far toward explaining what's going on in the Enough is Enough -- 2.1.12 campaign.
And a QVC forum user posted the following response to an inquiry he or she submitted to JCPenney to complain about the new ads. A number of other web users have posted the same message elsewhere on the Web. The response is an abridged version of the release announcing the store's new strategy. The response, from Carri Cater, a marketing specialist for JCP read as follows:
We're very sorry that you are unhappy with our new commercials. As one of America's first stores, we thought it was time we re-imagined every part of our business to make it easier and more exciting for you to shop.
Many of the changes launch on February 1. It's all about making shopping easy and exciting for you. Fair and Square Pricing, Happy Returns and a great new shopping environment.
We'll have three ways we price our merchandise, nothing more. What used to be our sale price is now our Everyday Price, because it's a great value everyday! We've also got Month-Long Values-these are items that are marked down even further for the important events that month. For instance, February is all about Valentines Day, so you'll find great Month-Long Values for that special someone in your life. Finally, twice a month we'll offer additional merchandise at our Best Price-these are the best prices you'll ever see on an item. Mark your calendar-
JCPenney's Enough is Enough -- 2.1.12 sale campaign is just the most recent controversy in which the store has found itself embroiled. Before this incident, the store was mired in controversy over a Google spamming controversy, in which the New York Times revealed a scheme under which JC Penney was getting its name higher in search results through means that were not endorsed by the search engine.
Watch the Enough is Enough -- 2.1.12 commercial below: