In a truly out-of-the-ordinary move, J.C. Penney has officially apologized to the world for the past year’s worth of changes and missteps, which apparently drove away a huge block of its customer base.
Its means for delivering this message is a commercial that can now be seen on YouTube. Featuring easy-listening music with pianos and violins, images of smiling women and a soft and reassuring, female voiceover, the ad says: “It’s no secret. Recently, J.C. Penney changed. Some changes you liked, and some you didn’t. But what matters with mistakes is what we learned. We learned a very simple thing: to listen to you. To hear what you need to make your life more beautiful. Come back to J.C. Penney. We heard you. Now we’d love to see you.”
Obviously, J.C. Penney hopes to inspire a goodly portion of its clientele to return to its stores and begin buying things again. To that end, this ad is a pretty gutsy way to go about it. Admitting mistakes this publicly is not very common for any business, and is as refreshing a means of advertising oneself as we’ve all seen in many a while.
Will shoppers feel welcome enough from the ad to flock back? We’ll see. But J.C. Penney deserves an A for effort on this one.—David Gill