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JCPenney Hopes Twitter Contest Creates Oscar Buzz

  |  February 25, 2011   |  Comments

Retailer leans on digital to attract a younger audience.

jcpJCPenney is incorporating a playful dose of Twitter and Facebook into its spring campaign, which debuts with seven Oscars commercials on Sunday.

The only retail sponsor for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, JCPenney hopes to catch the attention of ceremony watchers who are simultaneously using Twitter. During the telecast, according to a news release by the brand, it will run a live contest on the site, micro-blogging trivia questions about Oscars fashion while using the hashtag, #OscarsTrivia.

The first person who tweets the correct answer and mentions JCPenney will receive a $20 gift card from the retailer. The 109-year-old firm, based in Plano, TX, will ask six questions throughout the ceremonial Hollywood event. Timing-wise, they will be tweeted similarly to how the biggest awards (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, etc.) are interspersed throughout the three-hour broadcast.

"We will send the Twitter [winner] a direct message to obtain their contact information," Kate Coultas, JC Penney spokesperson, told ClickZ.

And JCPenney has been warming its Twitter audience up for the Academy Awards. Here is one of its tweets from Feb. 23: "Trying to see more of the movies nominated for the Oscars. Which film should win for Best Costume?"

In some local markets, vignettes of the brand's TV commercials will feature "Because I'm Addicted" fashion blogger Geri Hirsch. In the spots, Hirsch will showcase the retailer's spring line as she and a friend prepare for an Oscars party. JCPenney's social media team will then post clothing selected by Hirsch to the brand's Facebook page, which entails a shopping app.

Coultas said that while the national commercials will not mention her brand's Facebook or Twitter pages, the Hirsch vignettes will encourage viewers to visit Facebook.com/jcpenney. The spring campaign, she said, is designed to appeal to an 18-to-35-year-old demographic. "Both our fashion and digital initiatives show that we are more social and mobile, which should attract a younger audience," Coultas explained.

Meanwhile, beginning March 18, JCPenney will launch a "Shop Like a Celebrity" sweepstakes on Facebook. Consumers can enter to win a trip to New York City that involves a two-night hotel stay, limo transportation, a $500 JC Penney gift card, and fashion advice from Mia Morgan, blogger for "The Fashion Alchemist."

Other digital components to the spring campaign include an upcoming design contest on social shopping site Polyvore and an original video series on the JCPenney-owned property Olsenboye.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

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