Tag Archives: legitimize

JC Penny Ad

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In this JC Penny ad, a homosexual couple is depicted playing with their two children of color. I appreciate JC Penny’s effort to include the gay community in their advertising. By targeting an ad towards gay men, and by featuring a gay family, JC Penny legitimizes gay men’s standing in American society and lets gay men know that they are important customers. However, it is also possible that JC Penny made a strategic decision to use gay men so that their advertisement would get free news coverage. This brings up an important question: how wrong is it to exploit a group of people for marketing needs if that exploitation does in fact help the group? JC Penny faced a lot of backlash from this ad and faced a drop in sales after its release, so it is unlikely that JC Penny was trying to strategically use gay couples to their advantage. These gay men are both white, are dressed nicely, and are shown in a modern, nice-looking home. One could claim that these factors are creating new stereotypes and that JC Penny is only accepting of upper-middle class, Caucasian gays. However, JC Penny purposefully chose a real life family to be featured in the ad and would understandably want them to be dressed nice since clothes are the ultimate product.

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