I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon a report about retailer JCPenney taking another step forward in its brand experience by creating a window display that breaks traditional habits of the retail world. The display, which can be seen at Penney’s Manhattan store through end of August, uses 5 mannequins with physical forms that are more representative of current society. They were based on these 5 people:
– a woman who uses a wheelchair as a result of partial paralysis
– a man with dwarfism
– a 6-foot-1½-inch female basketball player
– a plus-size female
– an ex-army member who lost part of his legs
JCPenney is certainly not the first big brand to attempt an inclusive campaign built around the concept of “real” bodies – Dove’s Real Beauty campaign from the early 2000s is still one of the most talked about in recent history. And while the idea for the mannequins didn’t come from JCPenney – they were created as part of a TV show campaign – they certainly spotted an opportunity to launch, and be part of, a new conversation in retail. It’s inspiring to see a brand that is showing an awareness of the reality in which its products exist. I hope more brands will follow suit with a more inclusive approach to their brand experience.
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