Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Have you seen this ridiculously sexist JC Penney commercial yet?

It hasn't gotten very many views. I've had it bookmarked for awhile. Sociological Images weighed in on it a couple of weeks ago.
For you younger readers, the woman is actress Phoebe Cates in a scene from the 1982 film "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." In the scene, Judge Reinhold's character is sitting on the toilet masturbating while dreaming of Phoebe coming out of the pool and removing her top. Cates was about 18 years-old at the time.
Nice way to catch the attention of 40+ year-old horndog sports guys, I guess—using video of a girl about the age of their daughters. Not sure how well it's gonna sell Van Heusen clothing, though. At least it isn't deviously subtle?
Related: Here's 19 of the most sexist ads from the last six years.


Blogger Boy Genius said...

Way to guarantee that no one looks at the clothes at all. I think there were pants…

2:24 PM  
Blogger KR said...

Who cares about what type of pants they were.

That single ad (is there a campaign?) definitely changes the perception of the brand.

JC Penneys of last week wasn't this cool.

3:05 PM  
Blogger MrPlywood said...

I saw this for the first time last night during an ESPN online Gamecast of the StL/HOU game. My first thought was WTF? Second thought, was Cates under 18 in the movie? Close. Third was that movie was made in 1982 and they're using it in an ad now? And, guys in the target demographic could well have a kid her age (as she appeared in the movie). The spokesman surely does (or could). Sorry, I think about those things as I get older. There is a line.

Oh yeah - I'm curious about what Cates thinks of the ad. I wouldn't think that she would have been involved in the rights deal, but you never know.

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Alicia Aiello said...

I am completely appalled by that ad. I agree with KR below in saying that after viewing that ad I no longer see JCP as the same brand at all. For me they have always been the mom brand or the 'back to school' brand...but I never thought they'd resort to this kind of easy and distasteful type of advertising...for clothes. I am a student at Syracuse University studying Social Media with @dr4ward at @NewhouseSU in #NewhouseSM4 and I subscribe to your blog so just wanted to voice my opinion on your post! Last year I actually had to create a JCP ad for a class and for a big advertising competition so that is why this ad especially bothers me.

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Plywood: Cates would definitely had to sign off on this.
She probably got a nice, big check from JCP!

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For heaven's sake. OMM sure got riled up over this ad, but I don't see them getting all huffy with those stupid Zoosk adds where men are either shown as complete dimwits or are just shirtless window dressing.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

haha, you are all a bunch of idiots. Do you know how many ad's run on tv showing men wearing just underwear swooning over women to cater to middle-aged housewives?

This ad uses a clip from a movie where a model is wearing the same amount of clothing we see in Venus razor commercials and is used to reach a targeted demographic just like the commercials using men as sex symbols.

JCP enney is clearly moving away from its shoppers of the past and looking to reach a new audience... those younger with more years ahead of them to spend money at jcpenney. If you haven't been to a JCPenney store in a while, its clear they are no longer the "mom's store".

1:32 AM  
Anonymous miconian said...

Oh, give me a break. What, so my grandfather can't enjoy watching Marilyn Monroe in her underwear in Some Like It Hot, even though they could have been a couple, age-wise, when the movie came out?

The whole idea here is to appeal to men who are just the right age range to recognize that scene from a time when they were close to Cates' age. It's an appeal to nostalgia.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL. Like a friend of mine said... "yes, she could be my daughter... but she's not!"

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Sharon Hill said...

big time yuck. JCP, you better stop this pattern or I'll cancel my credit card and stop buying from you.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Hersh said...

Yep, this is sexist. I don't think it's offensive, though. What we're seeing in these reactions is a kind of brand possessiveness: just because people want JC Penney to be tame, vanilla, and pure, the brand has no obligation to deliver that. They're going after customers and most people will likely think this is mildly clever - certainly more fun than the typical stuff they do.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Spireax said...

I thought that was Phoebe Cates' scene. I had a hard time reconciling the split images as an effective ad for Van Heusen.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give me a break. If you don't like it don't watch it. I bet the same women who are hating on phoebe and JCpenny are the same ones watching men parade around in men's underwear commercial showing off men's sexy panties I bet they don't complain about those advertisements. Go get a hobby haters

6:14 PM  

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