How to do an Apology Right
by Jennifer AlLee
No, this isn't a movie review, but we don't have a header for "TV Commercial Review." In fact, I think I may be the first Inky to review a commercial. And why am I reviewing a commercial? Because when I saw it, I was so struck by the oddness and wrongness of it, that I couldn't stop thinking about it. So here we go...
Last year, jcpenney changed the way they did things. To be honest, with the exception of changing the name to jcp, I'm not sure what all the changes were. Apparently, the changes didn't work, because now, they're backpedaling.
Here's the commercial:
What's wrong with it, you ask? For one thing, it's incredibly vague. Basically, it says, "We made mistakes, we heard you, come back." What mistakes? What did you fix? Why should I come back? If I'm to believe the images I see in the commercial, shopping at jcpenney will make me happy, carefree, and beautiful.
So what should they have done? In my opinion, a straightforward approach would have been better. Be specific. Tell me what you changed.
A company that did this right was Domino's Pizza. A few years ago, they knew they had to make some changes. Plain and simple, customers didn't like the way the pizza tasted. So they addressed it in a very open way.
Shorter versions of this ran on television, but you see what they did. They came right out and said, "You told us our pizza crust tastes like cardboard, and the sauce is like ketchup. So we fixed it." And instead of perfectly pretty people walking in slow motion with their hair blowing in the breeze, they had the actually chefs and other employees, including the president, talking about what they were doing to make things better. Now that's the way to do it.
Why does any of it matter? Well, it speaks to being genuine. Take novels. Have you ever read a book that just didn't connect with you? Did it leave you feeling emotionally unfulfilled? It's possible that the author didn't delve deep enough into the specifics. If we lean on generalities, then we don't really let our readers see what makes our characters tick.
The same is true in life. In order to connect with friends, family, coworkers, we need to share who we really are. Generalities can only get us so far.
What do you think? Is living life really all about the details? And does anybody have any idea what's going on with jcpenney?
JENNIFER ALLEE believes the most important thing a woman can do is find her identity in God – a theme that carries throughout her novels. A professional writer for over twenty years, she's done extensive freelance work for Concordia Publishing House, including skits, Bible activity pages, and over 100 contributions to their popular My Devotions series. Her novels include The Love of His Brother (Five Star, 11/07), The Pastor’s Wife (Abingdon Press, 2/10), The Mother Road (Abingdon Press, 4/12) and A Wild Goose Chase Christmas (Abingdon Press, 11/12). She's thrilled to be working on her first historical series with the amazing Lisa Karon Richardson. Diamond in the Rough (Whitaker House) is the first book in the Charm and Deceit series, available now. And... as if that's not enough, her novella Comfort and Joy will appear in the Christmas anthology, Mistletoe Memories (Barbour, 9/13) She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Christian Authors Network, and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.