Monday, August 4, 2008

JC Penney Attempts to Pay Homage to John Hughes

Now that the whole Speed Dressing uproar has died down, lets take a look at the official back to school campaign Saatchi did for JC Penney, "Get that Look", an homage to The Breakfast Club.

Sadly, I think JC Penney pretty much bombed this campaign. First you have the simple issue of age. At 26, I'm at the cusp of the generation that's familiar with the Breakfast Club and friends of mine just a couple years younger generally haven't seen the movie. So how many high schoolers are going to get the reference? Few—if any. Their parents will, but what teenager actually shops where their parents want them to?

I suppose you can argue, does it really matter? The site is nicely dynamic with short videos and games that unlock free ringtones etc. but I'm not sure I would have found it all that interesting if I wasn't looking to see connections to the movie. Without knowledge of the movie it's just a bunch of models dancing and running around a school.

But then if you are a fan of the movie, like me, you'll be sorely disappointed. I found their 'homage' rather appalling. It's visually well done with a a great set and favorite scenes, but it really misses the mark on tone. I get that it's a shallow clothing campaign and all, but the lack of angst, decently discernible characters and models doing a poor job attempting to act makes the whole thing fall flat. Muddling the princess and the basket case together? Ignoring the John Bender character completely? Making the nerd as well dressed as everyone else? And overall it's far too PG for the movie—I mean, they don't even appear to be in detention! And not to mention turning scenes like running in the halls, avoiding the principal to recover some pot into a scene chasing after the princess's escaped chihuahua. I mean really? Could you reverse that much more? I guess the real movie was just too risque for JC Penney, but then why did they use it?


Anonymous said...

That's also a really bad cover of Don't You (Forget About Me).

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this commercial!

Like you, at first I was a little put off by it but then I realized why they did it... they are targeting the parents that are my age! How can I be at the age where it is old enough to have kids in school? Sheesh!