JCPenney Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Ellen DeGeneres

After standing by her, the retailer preps raft of Oscars spots

Headshot of T.L. Stanley

Say it loud and proud, JCPenney: Change, it is a-comin'! The retailer won a lot of fans lately by sticking up for its new spokeswoman, Ellen DeGeneres, in the face of a ridiculously misguided protest from the ultra-conservative One Million Moms. Now, the chain is launching its first ads with the talk-show maven (see the teaser below), focusing on its new pricing strategy. This spot will air during the pre-show of Sunday's Oscar telecast on ABC. Four more Ellen-centric commercials will debut during the awards show proper. The theme of the campaign, from San Francisco-based brandadvisors, is the transformation taking place in JCPenney's dressing room, as a gladiator magically becomes a be-suited businessman and a cowgirl (Ellen) becomes a be-suited brand ambassador. (No, those pants don't make your butt look fat.) The bigger story is the change in the way people may see this marketer going forward because of the stand-up way it handled a potential PR fiasco. Contemporary instead of musty, forward thinking instead of staid. That's huge. Good on 'em.

@TLStanleyLA T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.