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JCPenney adds mobile to holiday marketing mix

Department store chain J. C. Penney Company Inc. has launched an integrated marketing campaign and mobile just happens to be one of the components.

The campaign highlights JCPenney's affordable gift assortment and invites customers to celebrate in the joy of giving this holiday season. Consistent with its Every Day Matters approach, JCPenney's marketing campaign communicates to customers that JCPenney understands their financial pressures and is designed to showcase the great value in shopping with the retailer.

"The mobile channel serves as just another way for us to reach our customers," said Kate Parkhouse, spokeswoman for JCPenney, Plano, TX.

"Starting the week of Thanksgiving we will be letting our site visitors sign up to get SMS alerts to their handsets," she said.

The mobile alerts will consist of shopping tips, gift ideas and some that will include a link to a WAP site built especially for this campaign. Ms. Parkhouse would not disclose the WAP site's address until launch time.

Additionally, on Black Friday, Nov. 28 - the day after Thanksgiving - JCPenney stores open at 4 a.m. and shoppers can sign up for a wake-up call to their mobile phone.

The company's WAP site will have store-locator functionality and will provide site visitors with the option of checking the weather.

The WAP site only features holiday merchandise. Consumers will only be able to shop the mobile site and not buy.

The campaign will comprise pre-print, direct mail, national television ads, radio, online and email components as well.

JCPenney's integrated marketing campaign will focus heavily on the retailer's range of affordable gifts this season.

Building on last year's effort, JCPenney will once again highlight its "red box gifts" -- a collection of 60 of the best and brightest gifts to give and get this Christmas.

Launching Nov. 16, JCPenney's TV spots will air on major broadcast and cable networks throughout the season.

Created by Saatchi & Saatchi, the spots will include two 30-second television spots, "Couplets," which use creative rhyming couplets while featuring various vignettes to highlight an array of gift ideas from JCPenney's merchandise.

In addition to those spots, JCPenney will also launch a 60-second spot, "Lights Out," airing in more than 90 percent of cinemas nationwide.

Also created by Saatchi & Saatchi, the commercial features a mom who finds a creative way to bring her family together to share what really matters this season - spending time with loved ones and experiencing the joy of giving.

Along with providing customers the option to sign-up for a wake-up call the day after Thanksgiving, JCPenney will promote its stores' 4 a.m. opening through a TV broadcast commercial, "Turkey Tailgate."

Launching Nov. 26, the spot has a unique approach to the typical day after Thanksgiving tradition of waking up early by featuring shoppers tailgating with their Thanksgiving turkey leftovers in the JCPenney parking lot as they anxiously wait for the store to open.

"The mobile component is meant to get our target audience excited about coming into our stores to do their holiday shopping this season," Ms. Parkhouse said.