JC Penney: Pinterest + Bloggers = Success


jc penney pinterest


Looks like JC Penney is upping the ante in preparation for Mother’s Day!

It’s no secret that the retailer has been struggling for a few years now; they’ve tried different marketing tactics, pricing campaigns, and new staff. This newest marketing promotion, though, may be one that sticks.

The retailer announced that it was teaming up with Pinterest in a unique way. In the weekends leading up to Mother’s Day, JC Penney and Pinterest held events at 10 malls throughout the nation. Pinterest provided large “boards” measuring 10X9X2 and displayed them within the designated malls. The boards featured JC Penney clothing styles, hair ideas, and makeup for complete looks in a format similar to Pinterest.

JC Penney got another important social arena on board – popular bloggers – who helped promote the event, model and discuss JC Penney clothing on their blogs, and offer fashion advice. Finally, they had sales associates modeling the latest trends.

Here’s a sample event notification that includes all of the activities customers could enjoy:


jcp event


It looks like JC Penney did several things right:


  • They learned that their consumer demographic mirrors that of Pinterest users, and created a relationship with Pinterest to engage both users and consumers, both those that are following the brand on Pinterest and those that may not be.
  • They incorporated bloggers into the mix. If there’s one thing we learned about the younger generation, it’s the influence of bloggers, vloggers, and YouTube “celebrities.” The weight of their opinion is quite influential, and JC Penney took note of this.
  • The company rewarded its Pinterest users and encouraged more to follow. By incorporating a “show us you follow us on Pinterest” to receive a goodie bag of discounts, samples, and free stuff, it generated viral buzz. This could encourage others to follow the brand on Pinterest before the event; if they like what they see, they may stick around for the long haul.


JC Penney has had a tough road; I’m wondering if this new campaign will turn the corner for the struggling retailer. At any rate, it’s a great example of how to combine the on and offline world for a successful marketing campaign.



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