When JC Penney hired noted gay lesbian homosexual Ellen Degeneres as its spokesperson, a homophobic group called One Million Moms fired back by calling for a massive boycott of the department store chain. Rather than dismiss Degeneres, JCP doubled down and featured in the pages of its May catalog a couple of happy committed lesbians and their gorgeous little family. Naturally, this incensed OMM enough to lead them to call for yet another boycott. But are their frothy proclamations actually doing anything? Not really. In fact, every time One Million Moms asks the public to boycott JC Penney for gaying all over the place, people start liking JC Penney more.
Brand Index tracked the curious post boycott reputation bounce that JC Penney has enjoyed since OMM started trying to step to them and found that the store should actually rejoice when the homophobes are pissed. According to a brand perception index, the JC Penney brand has enjoyed a boost in perception among mothers with children under 18 following the Ellen flap and in the days after the May catalog would have arrived in the mail. American consumers like seeing varied ideas of what a happy family can look like.
In fact, if anyone should be upset by the One Million Moms protest, it's Kohl's, JC Penney's chief rival. Every time OMM starts whining, Kohl's reputation takes a small hit as JC Penney's soars like a mighty gay eagle.
One Million Moms is far from the one million strong grassroots group it claims to be. It's a project of the American Family Association, which the Southern Poverty Law Center deems a "hate group." And haters, as haters tend to do, are going to hate, but they're not going to hate one million at a time. The group's facebook page has only 46,000 "likes" and their Twitter account has under 1,500 followers. Maybe each of the Facebook pages is shared by a family of 21 people? And each Twitter account is co-managed by 1,000? Maybe?
The AFA is run by one Bryan Fischer, a twat of a human who believes that gay people are exactly like Nazis, that Islam is like the KKK, and that homosexuality is a form of terrorism.
One Million Moms isn't totally oblivious to how abjectly ineffectual their boycotts and campaigns have been. They abandoned their Ellen boycott shortly after declaring a war on people who let pictures of homos be prominently featured in advertising. And judging by this latest campaign's lack of success, it's only a matter of time before they abandon it and declare victory.
But the numbers don't lie. Drawing the ire of homophobes might be one of the smartest marketing moves JC Penney's ever made since they started sending out the Christmas toy catalog in late August.