So This Is The Worst Holiday Advertising Campaign

Because I am counting down to Christmas with a holiday advertising campaign based on a holiday advertising campaign, I’m very aware of marketing intended to tie universal good tidings with commercialism. Like being able to ferret out if a person comes from money, it’s a secret talent of mine. So what’s the worst advertising happening this holiday season? Easy answer: it’s JCPenny’s #GiftToast campaign.

The effort is a cute one, an idea that may have worked if it wasn’t happening online or attempting topicality: the brand is offering gift ideas that they are “toasting” to people online. For example, “To my older brother, @OlderBrother, who always beat me up: enjoy these boxing gloves. #GiftToast” Cute, right? I quite like the idea.

Is that how they are using the concept? Not at all. It is instead a cringeworthy, “Dad, you’re embarrassing me.” rollout happening on social media that keeps popping up in various feeds of mine and causing the hairs on the back of my neck to prickle and burn. Here’s one that I keep seeing and that makes my ears hot:

I get what you are doing, ‘Penny: you are being “current” and you are being “cool” and making “memes.” But, you’re doing it all wrong. As if it couldn’t have gone any other way or have been more dated. No one has fucking talked about Left Shark since February: stop this. Stop trying so hard because you are giving the Internet a bad name.


Better—but still bad.

And this:


Here’s a terrible one:

No one even remembers this being “a thing.” Why didn’t they opt for something about Saint West?

Here’s something incredibly Dad:

I can’t think of anything more insufferable than that one.

Oh wait, I can: hiring Viners to participate in the campaign.

A #GiftToast to ‘Penny: here is a pile of dog shit because that is what you have done.

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