Company Launches “pennies from heaven” to Inspire Donations for Afterschool
Cause Marketing Campaign Debuts with Innovative Digital Experience and Backing from Design Partners Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen
PLANO, Texas (July 20, 2011) — J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) today announced that it is launching an inspiring new philanthropic initiative that invites customers in over 1,100 stores to turn small change into “pennies from heaven” by rounding up their purchases and donating the difference to life-enriching afterschool programs. For more than a decade, JCPenney has been the leading corporate advocate for the afterschool issue by distributing more than $100 million across every jcpenney community. To bolster support for the afterschool movement, jcpenney will unveil its most extensive cause marketing campaign to date. Serving as the Company’s signature cause-related event, pennies from heaven will be held four times a year starting July 31 through Aug. 27 during the Back-to-School season.
“Compelling national research reveals that one in four students in America is unsupervised between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. each day. This represents more than 15 million kids who could benefit from the academic and social development opportunities that afterschool programs provide,” said Mike Theilmann, group executive vice president for J. C. Penney Company, Inc. and chairman of J.C. Penney afterschool. “With communities facing severe cuts in education and school resources, there’s never been a more important time to raise awareness of the afterschool issue and get our customers involved in helping to narrow the education gap.”
Marketing that Inspires Change
As the largest cause marketing initiative JCPenney has ever launched, pennies from heaven will have a prominent role in the Company’s overall back-to-school promotions. Created in collaboration with Momentum Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi New York and 360i, pennies from heaven leverages multiple touch points to engage the hearts and minds of American consumers. National and Hispanic advertising, which utilizes broadcast, print and online media, showcases youth in afterschool programs through themed ads representing “pennies for art,” “pennies for science” and “pennies for music” -- demonstrating the power of a penny to create new opportunities for learning. Promotions for pennies from heaven will run as an integral component to jcpenney’s Back-to-School “Daydreamer” campaign, which features dream-inspired doodles to reveal kids’ inner aspirations -- reinforcing the notion that through a collective call to action, jcpenney and its supporters can help shape the future for millions of America’s youth.
Purse for a Cause
Olsenboye designers Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen are lending their support to the initiative by releasing a limited edition change purse available exclusively at jcpenney. Each purse will sell for $9.99 and 100 percent of the sale proceeds will be donated to the pennies from heaven campaign. “Every child should have the opportunity to be part of a positive and nurturing environment after school,” said Ashley Olsen. “Through the purchase of an Olsenboye change purse, customers can help support afterschool programs and impact a child’s life,” added Mary-Kate Olsen.
Generating Virtual Pennies for Real Donations
Prior to the official launch in stores, customers will be able to collect virtual pennies as part of a fun, interactive experience on jcp.com/pennies. This new microsite serves as a personalized social hub for supporters to learn more about the issue and get involved through various online activities that trigger a donation to afterschool programs. Once users collectively generate 100 million virtual pennies, jcpenney will donate $1 million to the afterschool cause. Elements of the pennies from heaven online challenge include:
■ sending a “lucky penny” to friends on Facebook using a customized application;
■ watching the pennies from heaven commercial video;
■ downloading the pennies from heaven ringtone;
■ liking JCPenney on Facebook or following JCPenney on Twitter and;
■ checking into a JCPenney store on Foursquare.
About jcpenney’s commitment to afterschool:
As the leading corporate advocate for the afterschool issue, JCPenney partners with leading afterschool organizations to make life-enriching afterschool programs accessible for working families. Through its legacy of supporting youth and charitable organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Y, National 4-H, United Way and FIRSTâ Robotics, JCPenney formalized its commitment to the afterschool cause by establishing the jcpenney afterschool fund, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Since its inception, more than $100 million has been distributed to afterschool programs across every JCPenney community thereby making it possible for more kids to spread their wings. For more information, visit www.jcp.com/pennies.
About J. C. Penney Company, Inc.:
J. C. Penney Company, Inc., one of America's leading retailers, operates over 1,100 jcpenney department stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as one of the largest apparel and home furnishing sites on the Internet, jcp.com. Serving more than half of America’s families each year, the jcpenney brand offers a wide array of private, exclusive and national brands which reflect the Company’s vision to be America’s shopping destination for discovering great styles at compelling prices. Traded as “JCP” on the New York Stock Exchange, the $17.8 billion retailer is transforming its organization to support its Long Range Plan strategies to build a sustainable, profitable enterprise that serves its customers, engages its associates and rewards its shareholders. For more information visit, www.jcpenney.net.