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JCPenney Airs First New Appliance Spot

JCPenney is airing its first TV commercial heralding its return to white-goods.

The humorous spot depicts a washer on the fritz and a woman arguing with her Siri-like digital assistant when it insists that the nearest replacement is at JCPenney.

“The marketing is cleverly designed to introduce a new merchandise category that our loyal JCPenney customers have not associated with us in the past,” chief customer and marketing officer Mary Beth West told Ad Age.

The spot, below, began airing this week in the three test markets of San Antonio, Texas, San Diego and Tampa, Fla., where appliance showrooms have been added to 22 stores.

The retailer is revisiting appliances after a 30-plus-year absence. CEO Marvin Ellison noted that the company’s customer base is 70-percent female, a key majap demographic, and that it plans to build “an emotional connection with the female shopper who already trusts JCPenney to furnish her home and wardrobe.”

The department stores will carry 90 to 150 different majap models from GE, GE/Hotpoint, LG and Samsung  and will begin offering a broad assortment online this spring.

The spot, along with digital initiatives and direct mail, will help determine the best strategy for an eventual national rollout, West said.