Thursday, May 2, 2013

I don't think I've ever seen a corporation prostrate themselves like J.C. Penney does in their new apology commercial

While I was watching Supernatural last night, this J.C. Penney commercial kept airing where the company apologizes to its customers. It was more than just an apology, though, it was begging. Check out the commercial below and see for yourself:


It's almost like they're a woman who cheated on her girlfriend and is trying desperately to get back with her.
Please, baby, I need you to buy our shit.
It's not that far off base, apparently. I did some googling today and as it turns out, the commercial is a mea culpa from the retailer to its customer base. Back in 2011, J.C. Penney hired a guy named Ron Johnson, a former Apple exec who came up with the idea for Apple Stores and Genius Bars, to run their company and well, it turned into a clusterfuck. He managed to alienate and drive off older and longstanding customers by getting rid of discounts and coupons, which had been the bread and butter of the company for decades. He also came up with this idea to put "stores" inside of each outlet. These "stores" were just areas within each J.C. Penney that featured clothes and products by a single company/label. These, at least, were successful, but not enough to save Johnson's job; the company shit-canned him last month and rehired his predecessor.

While Ron Johnson's run in the company was mostly a flop, it was during it that J.C. Penney became more pro-LGBT. First, they hired Ellen DeGeneres as spokeswoman, then quite boldly, ran sales ads featuring same-sex parents. Needless to say, that pissed off the right-wingers, but really, that's just icing on the cake. Truthfully, when I first saw the commercial, I thought that they had backpedaled and were apologizing for their stance. As far I know, they haven't and I hope they won't.

Check out this chart of Iron Man's armor evolution

We're going to need a bigger boat...
(Click to embiggen)
It's a pretty handy chart if you're not wholly familiar with Iron Man's armors. Kate Willaert from HalloweenCostumes.com did a fine job creating it, so a tip of the Nerd-Thing hat to her. The only ones not listed are the one-offs that he wore once or twice, the specialty armors like the stealth, space, and aquatic, and the armors he created as revisions and overhauls of existing armors. Oh, and the armor the teenage Tony Stark wore in the mid-90s, but I think we'd all rather forget that that ever happened. Yeah.

My favorite of the bunch is and always will be the Silver Centurion. It's funny, I've never read an issue from when Tony was wearing the thing (which will be rectified one day soon), but I just totally dig it. The Silver Centurion just looks so different and cool! I was surprised by the five longest running armors; I was sure Extremis had all of them beat. Glad I was wrong.

Now having said all of that, it's unpopular opinion time: I don't like the movie armors, with the exception of the Mark I. I don't know, they just look too much alike with hardly any real variation. I think the only difference between the main armors in the first two Iron Man movies was the shape of the unibeam/arc reactor piece. The newest armor from the upcoming third movie is mostly in the same boat. It looks like all they did there was swap the red-gold palette, and changed the shoulder guards, the boots, and made minor changes to the helmet and torso.

Hat tip to Geekologie for the picture.

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