an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

JC Penny Jewelry: The Doghouse is Stupid

Posted by Rosepixie on November 17, 2009

I came across this commercial for the jewelry department of JC Penny on a blog and in the interest of this blog post, explored more.

This is a horrible ad.  So, wives are unreasonable and over react (by apparently shoving you into an extra-dimensional space for years on end) for even small offenses and husbands are just plain stupid and shallow.  The guy who basically told his wife she was fat and then taunted her about was acting like a total jerk, but most of the other guys clearly didn’t do anything terribly wrong.  The one who made the thoughtless comment about his wife not working should have the comment pointed out, but unless he genuinely doesn’t value his wife’s contribution to their lives probably didn’t mean it that way – he just made the same kind of slip most people make sometimes.  The guy who gave his wife a vacuum cleaner maybe needed to feel out his wife a little more in regards to her gift expectations for that occasion, but doesn’t deserve to be raked over the coals.  The guy who gave his wife new ram for her computer with the sweet note about memories?  He gets bonus points and extra kisses.  I have no idea why he’s there or what brain trust ad executive decided to include him in this ad.  The guy with the thing for his mother-in-law needs to work on developing a higher social I.Q.

But women are crazy and men are stupid and thoughtless and aren’t we all lucky that diamonds fix everything?  Because an apology certainly wouldn’t be a better thing to try.

Ok… so the ad is bad enough, right?  But it gets worse.  There’s an interactive, Facebook-enabled website to tie in with this ad campaign!

So then you it zooms into the doghouse and gives you options for what to do.

You can see in the bottom left hand corner there that it says that there are currently 9,201 people in the doghouse, but when I clicked on “See Who’s in the Doghouse” it appeared empty (and blank screens are boring, so you don’t get a screenshot of that). I assume it’s set up to only show me people I know (via my Facebook account) who are in the doghouse, and since none of my friends have been put there, it appeared empty to me. So I decided to see what happened if I clicked on “Put Someone in the Doghouse”. I got this:

Um… ok… yeah… that’s… kind of creepy?  But if I wanted, I could send a warning to or put anyone on my friend list in Facebook into the doghouse.  How thoughtful of them to provide such a needlessly humiliating service!  Why would I do something so clearly designed to be publicly humiliating to someone I love?  The option from the front page (which you can’t go back to, you have to reload the website and start over to get back to the main menu, although buttons to the other sections are provided in each area) labeled “What Life’s Like Inside the Doghouse” plays the commercial.

The final option is clearly the important one here, right?  Now that we know how to humiliate our friends and loved ones by putting them into the dog house, let’s find out how they can get out!

Of course! Diamonds to the rescue!  Seriously, what the hell?  If I get mad at someone, I’m not going to be suddenly not mad at them if they bring me diamonds.  I’m going to be confused (and probably annoyed that they think I’m that shallow and forgetful).  I’d much prefer an apology or some rectification of the original problem or something else more directly related to the issue at hand.  Diamonds may be pretty and sparkly, but they aren’t magic “fix all problems” stones.  As much as the jewelers of the world seem to wish it does, it doesn’t work that way!

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2 Responses to “JC Penny Jewelry: The Doghouse is Stupid”

  1. Diamond commercials have the amazing ability of making me want to immediately rush right out to the store in question, head right up to the counter, and punch the salesman in the face.

    I don’t think that’s the intended effect.

  2. notjustagirl said

    I thought parts of the ad were funny. The guy who gave his wife ram for the pc probably didn’t deserve to be in the doghouse (unless of course her gift contributed to the household pc 😀 )

    I really hate most jewelry commercials, and while I enjoyed parts of this, I don’t think jewelry should have been stressed. Thoughtfulness should have been emphasized instead. But then again, nobody is marketing thoughtfulness, and jewelry is the cliched quick fix, right?

    I especially hate the idea of being able to put someone’s pic on the web to totally humiliate them and broadcast your dirty laundry in public. Shame on them.

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