Sears

PMH TV Spots for JCPenny. Americana Updated.

If you have been lucky enough to catch any of the TV spots for JCPenny in the last week or so, you might have noticed a similarity to Target ads. That design minded aesthetic is something that PMH was known for in the direction of the ads they styled for the Target brand.

Directed by MJZ’s Rocky Morton, the new suite of TV spots for JCPenny have clean, colorful well designed look, that are humorous, and at times bordering on cute. There is nothing wrong with that. The spots work fusing great visuals, editing, and copy writing to complete the set.

I hope these ads are as successful for JCPenny as the ads PMH produced for Target were. JCPenny, like other established retail giants (Sears in particular) have felt a pinch from newer rivals like Khols over the last few years as brand perceptions have shifted about the quality of their product, store fronts, and price points.

In addition to the “Fair and Square” campaign that the previous spots support, JCPenny is launching another spot for February directed by Grand Large’s Gaysorn Thavat. This spot features Billie Holiday’s 1937 recording of Irving Berlin’s “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm,”as the soundtrack and tries to establish that feeling of modern-day Americana, which is what JCPenny is something that this entire series of ads does with with technicolor punch, and a bit of whimsy. Personally I think these are the best TV spots JCPenny has released in years.

 

Advertisements

It’s Time to Buy a Snow Blower.

The winter of 2011/2012 has so far been relatively calm and snow free. Compared to last year, it has been awesome but let’s be real here… we are less than two weeks in to the official winter season. I am expecting to get seriously dumped on this year just like we have for the last two. Because of the last two seasons, the fact that I am getting older, my driveway is 90 x 16 in size, I have decided to buy a snow blower.

After spending some time looking around and researching models I have narrowed my search to 2. A Toro, and a Sears Craftsman. I have to say that while I love the Toro brand, I am leaning to the Sears model. Both are 2 Stage models. The Toro has more horsepower than the Sears, it costs about 400 bucks more.

Then there is the other factor. One that I hadn’t counted on, but one that has effected me none the less. I like the Sears brand. I like what Sears stands for, and the fact that they have been around for so long. So when I heard they were going to close up to 100 stores in 2012, I decided that I would probably buy from them. I want to help keep the brand alive. I know it’s probably not the best reason to purchase from them, but there is something about buying from the Chicago based retailer that I like.

By the way, since I am buying a snow blower, the winter season will probably be fairly light this year. Consider this my gift to you.

I’ve Gone All “Suburban”.

This Thursday a riding lawn mower is getting delivered to my house. Yes I caved and bought a rider. After almost two years of pushing the Worx cordless electric around the yard, I finally gave up. The Worx does a great job, I just want something that is easier to use, and fits the size of my lawn.

I ended up getting a 42 inch Craftsman mower with an automatic transmission. I figure if I am gonna go all suburban on my urban lawn, I should get the automatic. And since the mower has a cup holder, having an automatic makes it easier for me to drink beer while mowing. (no shifting gears) I went with the Sears brand after doing some pretty solid research on quality, and who manufactures Craftsman mowers for Sears. The product is solid for the price, and the mower has a ton of attachments that are available for it. Things like a snow plow, which I will probably buy this fall before winter sets in. Yes I am tired of shoveling snow, and a snow plow blade is cheaper than a snow blower.

Next Friday or Saturday I’ll post a first impressions review of the mower, and the mulching kit.

Thanksgiving Has Become a Speed Bump

There used to be this holiday in the United States called “Thanks Giving”. It was kind of a big deal. There was the build up to the big day, the dinner with family, sitting around watching football, and yes it was the kick off to the Christmas Holiday season.

Over the last few years things have begun to change though. Store now have Christmas decorations up at the beginning of October. The holiday season has shifted and is now Halloween and Christmas with Thanksgiving feeling like a speed bump in between. And this year Thanksgiving got pushed aside just a little bit more with a number of major retailers announcing that “Black Friday” shopping sales would begin on October 29. I’m sorry, I think it sucks.

I know the economy is down, and that retail sales for Christmas are once again on target to be off for the 2010 season, but seriously it isn’t even Halloween yet. The New York Times is reporting that retailers including Sears, Wal-Mart and Target are offering big promotions to lure shoppers beforeĀ  well before Thanksgiving. Sears started its “Black Friday Now” deals on Friday the 28th, and Toys R Us is putting all the items in its Christmas toy book on sale starting on Sunday the 31st, the newspaper reports.

I want Thanksgiving back. I miss it. The holiday is about giving thanks, being grateful for what you have, and giving to those in need. There is something really wonderful about the fact that it is this non-consumerism based holiday. Yes I know people spend a ton of money on food , but the heart of the experience used center around family, friends, community and being truly thankful for what you have.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the rush to Christmas shopping was slowed, and the 4 weeks between Halloween and the third Thursday in November actually felt like a build up to something awesome; instead of a build up to the day things go on sale for Christmas? I think this year I am skipping sending Christmas cards and I’m going to send Happy Thanksgiving cards instead. That is if I can even find any amongst the piles o Christmas cards that have been on store shelves for weeks now.

The thing that is really sad is, if you ask people what the history of Thanksgiving is, what is supposed to really be about, most people can’t tell you.