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J.C. Penney's Typo-Riddled Tweets Attract 'Free Media'

Feb 3, 2014
Originally published on February 3, 2014 5:43 am
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Our Last Word In Business is free media, what you get when you get media exposure better than advertising.


It costs between $3- and $5 million to buy a commercial in last night's Super Bowl. That's not counting the payroll for the stars.

INSKEEP: It's not clear how much advertisers paid Sarah McLachlan to be attacked by a dog, or to have Bob Dylan declare: We will build your car.

MONTAGNE: J.C. Penney found a far cheaper way to gain attention. Whoever runs the company's Twitter account just sent out a couple of tweets full of typos.

INSKEEP: Early on, a Penney tweet said the score was like a baseball game, except it was spelled ballaballgumla(ph). Later, after a touchdown, a tweet called it a tough down.

MONTAGNE: The mistakes gained massive attention. People asked if the account had been hacked, or if J.C. Penney needed a designated driver.

INSKEEP: No. They said they were tweeting with mittens, a product J.C. Penney was promoting. It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.