JCPenny Gets Drunk

Was JCPenny hacked or was it just a cheap Super Bowl marketing plan? It’s no secret JCPenny has been suffering financially so when it comes down to it they probably couldn’t even afford a Super Bowl Ad. So naturally, they turned to Social Media but their marketing strategy “#tweetingwithmittens” left followers confused for many reasons. So what could they have done differently to make it more clear to the followers that this wasn’t just a drunk employee.


1. Be consistent with the hashtag. Before the game JCPenny tweeted a picture of them with their gloves on. Here would have been a good time to start the hashtag. #tweetingwithmittens might now have been the best one to use because it might have given their strategy away and caused less uproar. But, hashtagging “#teamUSA” or “#JCPtakesthesuperbowl” would have been more thought out and would have also gone along with the drunk theme. Additionally, it would have tied in all the other tweets JCP sent out after the “drunk” tweets.

2. Use JCPenny in the hashtag. We all know the points of hashtags; to be able to track conversations and keep up with general interests. It would have been wise to use JCP or JCPenny in the hashtag to promote themselves. Their tweets got over 43,000 – that is a huge amount – but imagine what kind of traffic it would have created if followers of the retweeters knew it was JCPenny behind it all.

3. Tie Everything Together. If you go back and look at JCPenny’s Twitter you will find many tweets after the incident that promote the idea of it being a marketing plan. They even tweeted the next morning a funny picture of a mug they sell in the stores but without the consistent hashtag those additional tweets seemed to get lost in the mix. After doing a little research for this blog post I believe the “drunk tweets” were not an accident but purposeful and there was no confusion behind that after i saw the additional tweets. However, they didn’t do a good job of making sure people saw the additional tweets and therefore it was rather confusing to their audience.

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If JCPenny had thought out this strategy more I think it would have been an excellent marketing plan. But little things were overlooked and instead it turned into a catastrophe. This marketing fail is just a little reminder: “it’s in the details.”


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