New Logo, Slogan for J.C. Penney

Retailer's spring campaign launches during the Academy Awards on Sunday.

J.C. Penney will an unveil a redesigned logo and a new slogan in its spring campaign launching during the Academy Awards on Sunday.

This story first appeared in the February 22, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The logo is still in red and white but with a more modern, graphic look. JCPenney is spelled out in lower case, the first three letters in white and contained in a red box; the rest of the lettering in red against a white backdrop. Logo redesigns can be tricky. Gap last year redesigned its logo, but scrapped it after a public outcry and quickly restored the old version.

However, there’s always excitement surrounding the Academy Awards, where Penney’s is the sole retail sponsor. The retailer has been running ads during the event for 10 years. “This is the Super Bowl for women,” said Liz Sweney, Penney’s co-chief merchant. “It’s a live event. The viewership is huge, 42 million, and it’s primarily women. It’s this fabulous fashion platform and we expect the viewership to be up this year,” particularly with younger people considering the hosts are Anne Hathaway and James Franco.

“They’re cool, and that’s important for us. We want to get to 25- to 35-year-olds,” Sweney said. That’s to give a better balance to Penney’s business, which has traditionally done best with teens and middle aged and older women.

Penney’s will run seven 30-second spots, created by Saatchi & Saatchi, during the show that promote the retailer’s exclusive stable of brands. There are separate ads for MNG by Mango, Liz Claiborne and Cindy Crawford Style. The Mango ad, in an urban setting with a model in the middle of traffic whisking by in a blur, announces: “Bold, Trend-setting. European fast fashion straight from the runway, right to you.” The Claiborne ad depicts Claiborne designers at work in an urban showroom, and says they’re making “the classics current.” There are also two trend ads showing a variety of private labels: one for women’s that gets aired twice during the Oscars, and one for men’s wear. Another ad promotes Penney’s People StyleWatch program where items that are hot or important for the wardrobe are identified by PeopleStyleWatch magazine. Also, the MNG by Mango and Cindy Crawford spots will run during the red-carpet preshow on ABC.

The new slogan, “We make it affordable. You make it yours,” will run through May and builds on Penney’s ongoing tag line, “New look. New day. Who knew!”

The commercials underscore the rapid rollout this year of Penney’s merchandise exclusives including MNG by Mango from 77 stores currently to 500 by fall; Sephora from 231 doors currently to 307 by the end of this year, and Call It Spring shoe shops from three doors at present to 500 this fall.