JCPenney unveils new logo, plans Oscar-night launch for spring campaign

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JCPenney's spring fashion marketing campaign, which will include direct mail, TV, radio and social media, will unveil the retail brand's new logo. The company said it revamped the logo to bring younger and lapsed consumers into its stores.

JCPenney worked with AOR Saatchi & Saatchi on the campaign, which will launch February 27. The logo will appear throughout Academy Awards programming in 30-second commercials highlighting key brands Liz Claiborne, MNG by Mango, People StyleWatch and Cindy Crawford Style. The company is the exclusive retail sponsor of the Oscars.

JCPenney will distribute direct mail, its “Little Red Book” pieces, highlighting the season's trends later this month. The Little Red Book will launch online at jcp.com on March 6.

The campaign will also feature creative specifically targeting the Manhattan market, with outdoor signage branded with spring messaging and images. The initiative will also include digital experiences, including an MNG by Mango design contest on social shopping site Polyvore.com, as well as an Olsenboye webisode series on Olsenboye.com.

A "Shop Like a Celebrity" sweepstakes will launch on JCPenney's Facebook page on March 18.

The company will also run national consumer magazine advertising in publications such as People, InStyle, Esquire and Real Simple.

“It was time for a new logo,” said Daphne Avila, senior manager of corporate communications at JCPenney. “We're a century-old company and we've recently made some progress to transform our brand. We're no longer the JCPenney people once knew. This logo showcases an evolution from JCPenney to JCP.”

Avila says the emphasis on the letters “JCP” represents how customers use digital connections to find and relate to JCPenney.

“We're trying to be able to attract a new and younger customer,” said Avila. “It's part of the reason why we decided a new logo was important. Customers who haven't shopped with us will hopefully see the new logo as an invitation to come and discover what we've got.”

Advertising and direct mail will begin featuring the new logo at the end of this month. The company will update all packaging and customer collateral over the next year and transition all external store signage in the next three years.

Before choosing a new logo, JCPenney sought submissions from company associates, design agencies, the University of Cincinnati and Rhode Island School of Design. The winning design was created by Luke Langhus, a third-year graphic design student at the University of Cincinnati. JCPenney considered more than 200 designs.

The campaign's “We make it affordable; you make it yours” tagline underscores JCPenney's recent initiatives to provide products at an affordable price points, the company said in a statement.

JCPenney will also run a Twitter trivia contest on the night of the Academy Awards. The retailer will ask six Oscar's fashion-related questions, and the first tweet mentioning JCPenney and the correct response to each will be rewarded with a $20 gift card.

Beginning March 18, JCPenney's Facebook fans can enter to win a trip to New York, including round-trip airfare, a two-night hotel stay, limo transportation, a $500 JCPenney gift card and fashion advice from a celebrity stylist and fashion blogger.

JCPenney recently said it will shut five department stores and all 19 legacy catalog outlets in the next two years. In September 2010, the company discontinued its traditional catalog business in favor of “look books,” which refer consumers to the company's e-commerce site. The company launched a Facebook e-commerce application in December, allowing consumers to make purchases from the company's “fan” page on the social network.

JCPenney would not reveal the spring campaign's budget. Saatchi & Saatchi could not immediately be reached for comment.

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