Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A top marketer for JC Penney and a rental service for Urban Outfitters: Marketer’s Brief | Advertising Age

Welcome to the latest edition of Marketer's Brief, a quick take on marketing news, moves and trends from Ad Age's reporters and editors. Send tips/suggestions to

Sprouting up at JC Penney

Five months after the departure of former CMO Marci Grebstein, JC Penney has a new top marketer. The beleaguered department store chain tapped Shawn Gensch as EVP, chief customer officer in charge of all marketing—a newly created position. Gensch, a retail veteran who has worked at Target and was most recently chief customer officer at Sprouts Farmers Market, is tasked with growing traffic, engagement and customer retention. He’ll oversee all digital, advertising and creative design. But it’s an uphill battle for the company, which has struggled to boost sales. On Tuesday, the chain was one of several retailers reporting earnings dips below analyst expectations. JC Penney’s had a first-quarter net loss of more than double the year-earlier period. Same-store sales fell nearly 6 percent; revenue dropped 4 percent to $2.6 billion. Gensch will start at the Plano, Texas-based retailer on June 3.

If you can't buy it, rent it
Urban Outfitters is hoping to tap into the sharing economy with its new rental service, Nuuly. The retailer, which owns brands including Free People and Anthropologie in addition to its namesake chain, will rent out women’s apparel for a monthly subscription fee of $88. The service will debut this summer. In a release, Urban noted the growing shopper trend of renting, “solving the paradox of a millennial’s quest for constant fashion newness alongside the desire for a more sustainable lifestyle.” It’s certainly worked out well for Rent the Runway, the New York-based pioneer of fashion renting, which recently expanded into an 8,300-square-foot flagship store in San Francisco. And what’s with the name? Urban Outfitters tapped creative agency Fuzzco to come up with the moniker. “We chose the name Nuuly because we liked the sound, the look and the way that the word ‘new’ is embedded within,” says David Hayne, chief digital officer, URBN, and Nuuly President. He notes that the wordmark’s “n” and “u” inverses symbolize the “out and back nature of a rental service.” We never would have gotten there on our own, so we’re glad we asked.

Hershey’s and Reese’s deepen ties to Twitch
Twitch announced a year-long plan with Hershey’s and Reese’s that it says is one of the most in-depth deals a non-endemic brand has made with the e-gaming company. The deal includes video ads, participation at TwitchCon North America 2019, sponsorship with DrLupo, MrsDrLupo and TimTheTatman, among other plans, and follows tests conducted from 2016 to 2018. “The growth of Twitch as a media platform has caught our attention,” Charlie Chappell, Hershey Co.’s head of media and comms planning, said in a statement. “In our initial foray, we realized Twitch can deliver the attention and engagement we need.”

Farmers to thank for new pizza deal
Domino’s cooked up a somewhat odd tie-in to offer a discount this week. The largest pizza chain says it is thanking American farmers with an offer for a $5.99 large, two-topping carryout pizza May 20 to 26. "Domino's wouldn't exist without dairy, tomato and wheat farmers across the U.S.," spokeswoman Jenny Fouracre said in a statement, adding that farmers work seven days a week, just like people who work at a Domino’s. The pizza chain also said it is three years into its five-year, $1 million commitment to the National FFA Organization (formerly the Future Farmers of America).

Maxwell House supports military spouses with USO pact
Maxwell House is now the official coffee partner of the USO. The Kraft Heinz brand says it will support USO programs and that the deal includes in-store promotions around Labor Day and Veterans Day, plus donations of coffee and funding. It announced a $650,000 donation in May, which is Military Appreciation Month. The effort with the nonprofit organization focuses on helping military spouses find employment, Maxwell House says. 

What Gen Z loves
Morning Consult is out with a list of the top brands for Gen Z adults ages 18 to 21. Gen Z has similar brand favorites compared to their millennial predecessors. Google, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and Oreo round out the top five on the list, which measures favorability, trust, community impact, and Net Promoter Scores.

Would you buy this?
Little Caesars has a new pizza loaded with the usuals—caramelized onions, green peppers and mushrooms—and the unusual—Impossible Sausage made from plants.

Number of the week
650: number of Dress Barn stores that will close as part of the retailer’s shut down

Tweet of the week

Comings and goings
Stacey Kawahata, most recently a strategy director at Vice Media, just joined Lime as head of global brand strategy and content. At the fast-growing scooter company, she’ll oversee brand campaigns, social media, and content strategy. Lime recently introduced its new brand platform, “Unlock Life” in collaboration with the Lab at Anonymous Content.

Beauty giant Coty has appointed Fiona Hughes as chief marketing officer of consumer beauty. She was most recently CMO at Jacobs Douwe Egberts, a beverage brand.

Criteo, the ad tech company, tapped Geoffroy Martin as EVP and global general manager of Criteo Retail Media. He had been CEO of

Contributing: Adrianne Pasquarelli, Jessica Wohl


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