This Week’s Top 5 Lifestyle Branding Stories

This Week’s Top 5 Lifestyle Branding Stories

jcp denim bar
J.C. Penney Denim Bar

1. J.C. Penney Releases Apology Begging Shoppers to Come Back
As former CEO Mike Ullman goes about stemming the bleeding, J.C. Penney is going on the offensive, apologizing to shoppers alienated by Johnson’s controversial store revamps.

In the ad, the company shies away from directly addressing Johnson’s upgrades, including Denim Bars to help J.C. Penney shoppers find the perfect jeans, not unlike Apple’s Genius Bars. Read more at Forbes

2. Where are the Celebrities of PR?
Where Are the Tom Cruises, Gwyneth Paltrows and Kardashians of the PR world? PR in the 1960s, ’70s and part of the ’80s had quite a few notable personalities who brought “good ink” to the industry.

The “queen” was Denny Griswold, who reigned for more than 40 years until she was clapped away in a nursing home in 1995 by her relatives. Griswold, editor of PR News, was “a piece of work,” as Ford CEO Lee Iacocca said at one of the PRN banquets she staged each spring for corporate PR people who had achieved VP status. Read more at Odwyer PR

3. The New Look of Public Relations (FleishmanHillard Rebrand)
A giant in public relations is spinning in a new direction, reshaping itself in significant ways that underscore how agencies of all kinds are being made over to better serve marketer clients in the 21st century.

Fleishman-Hillard, which was founded in 1946 as Fleishman, Hillard & Associates, will rebrand itself this week as FleishmanHillard, with elements that include a new logo and a new slogan, “The power of true” — no relation, presumably, to “Truth well told,” the slogan of McCann Erickson Worldwide, or “Truth and design,” the slogan of MediaVest. Read more at The New York Times

4. Instagram Adds People-Tagging to Photos
Instagram is adding one of Facebook’s most popular features — photo tagging — to its iOS and Android apps Thursday. You can now tag people in photos, and browse feeds of photos you and others appear in. Read more at Mashable

5. Mountain Dew Fiasco Shows Brands Desperately Want Street Cred
Mountain Dew’s problems with cultural sensitivity this week culminated with the pulling of its “Felicia the Goat” spot today, after suffering similar marketing damage when the family of Emmett Till during the last several days denouncedthe brand’s sponsorship of rap artist Lil’ Wayne. The rapper negatively references Till—an African-American who was brutally murdered during 1955 in Mississippi after allegedy harrassing a white woman—in his “Karate Chop (Remix)” tune. What’s more, both developments come on the heels of Reebok, an Adidas property, firing hip-hop artist Rick Ross for describing what seems to be a date-rape scenario in his lyrics.

It appears obvious that some brands desperately want to tap young urbanites while signing up their edgiest musical heroes, such as Lil’ Wayne, Ross and Tyler, The Creator—who produced Mountain Dew’s spot. But do six-figure-salaried marketers actually know what they are doing while attempting to reach the street? And are these examples once again showing the advertising world’s lack of diversity? Read more at Adweek

Photo: JCP