JCPenney Commercial: Everybody Wins feat. Phoebe Cates

Artist: Saatchi & Saatchi Ad Agency Music
Song: Saatchi & Saatchi Ad Agency Drivel

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2012 Commercial for JCPenney featuring the beautiful Phoebe Cates in her signature red bikini in one of the most famous movie scenes from the 80’s in Fast Times At Ridgemont High. The commercial starts out featuring ESPN sports reporter Kenny Mayne standing in a suit. He says:

JCPenney understands that you don’t like advertising for clothes. Who does? Tell you what though, if you look at these smart fashion choices from Van Heusen, we’re gonna show you this.

On the left side, we see beautiful Phoebe Cates getting out of the pool in her red bikini. On the right side of the screen, something is going on, but I haven’t watched that part yet. Just kidding. We see mens outfits by Van Heusen.

Why This JCPenny Commercial Offends Me

We had a recent JCPenny commercial that I posted, the “Noooo!” ad. I found the ad a little bit cute, but I didn’t think much of it. Apparently, my readers thought it was really annoying….. no, an insult to it’s customers. The advertisement MAY have had a subliminal message that personally insulted everyones mothers for all I know. That would make the most sense given the uproar. Honestly, I’m thankful for my passionate commenters. I find this particular JCPenney more offensive than the last one, here is why.

1. You can’t show this movie scene without the original song Moving In Stereo by The Cars

Song In Commercial "The Cars"

Stop what you're doing. Go buy this record.

I’m sorry, that scene and that song go together like Thelma and Louise. One needs the other. This crappy ad agency stock music choice is just plain lazy. In fact, I find this the most offensive part. I would like to riot in the streets please. JCPenney probably isn’t using the song because they wanted to save money, because they are slashing prices!!!! Just kidding.

I’ve heard songs by The Cars for my entire life. I thought I’d heard everything I needed to hear by them, and I didn’t care either way about the band. About a year ago, for the first time, I listened to their 1978 album The Cars on Rdio. I’d already heard about half of the songs on classic rock radio. But in the context of the album, it was like I was listening to the songs with new ears. It’s a genius record. Also, a bit of trivia about The Cars. Lead singer Rick Otcasek was the producer of the first Weezer album, which is known as The Blue album.

2. Sexist Advertising Is Less Sexist When It’s Clever

This JCPenney commercial has been pulled because of so many people being offended about it being sexist. But what about every other beer commercial out there? In many ways, this ad is no more sexist than a beer commercial. There isn’t really anything clever about this ad. Beer commercials are selling a fantasy lifestyle, that is often a gentle joke on the stereotypical thought process of men. There is no such subtext in this commercial.

As an adult male, when I see this scene, I’m reminded of it’s context in the movie Fast Times At Ridgemont High. This scene is a fantasy in Judge Reinhold’s mind that he is having as he is alone in the bathroom um…. expressing his love for himself. So, let’s assume you’re a manchild and make a deal: If you go shopping for clothes at JCPenney with your wife, it’s okay for you to have some masturbatory fantasy about an 18 year old from a movie.

Sorry, the whole thing falls flat to me. It doesn’t seem to do much for JCPenney, who is trying to revamp their image with this huge ad campaign. Try again JCPenney and Saatchi & Saatchi Ad Agency. I’ll stop doing commercial commentary now and get back to what I do best, identifying songs in commercials and drinking coffee.

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