JCPenney Creates Online
Game for College Girls
JCPenney has launched an online game to help pitch
ita dorm room products to college-bound women.
The game, called “Dork Dodge,” at
http://www.dorkdodge.com, plays into dorm life while
entertaining and challenging students with interactive,
social scenarios. Along the way, it exposes them to the
line of products called Dorm Life, JCPenney’s new
lifestyle brand for young adults. Gamers learn
decorating ideas using the products, which are used
during game play to gain points or avoid pitfalls.
Players choose an avatar and can view profiles of
other dorm mates on the site, similar to
social-networking site MySpace.com. Gamers navigate
different rooms where they encounter various people in
different situations. Video footage brings each
character to life. People can choose from
multiple-choice answers to find a way out. The goal? To
dodge dorks and find true love.
At the end of the game, players can check out
JCPenney’s Dorm Life gear or get some tips on freshmen
life on the Facebook page at
marketing and blog seeding support the game.
“When you are thinking about decorating your dorm
room, JCPenney is not something that will come to the
surface for young girls,” said Kim Kline, vice president
of account management and planning for EVB San
Francisco, the agency that developed the concept and is
handling the game. “JCPenney wanted to find a new media
engagement idea that was going to make some young girl
say, ‘Wow, was that JCPenney?’ ”
JCPenney believes it has an audience. Upwards of 40%
of all U.S. gamers (computer and consul players) are
women, according to the Entertainment Software
It’s the retailer’s first marketing game targeting
young women. The company this year ramped up its digital
marketing initiatives for the back-to-school period to
reach digital consumers, the company said.
“We certainly want to position the Dorm Life brand as
a relevant resource to these young adults as they
graduate from high school and head off to college,” Ruby
Anik, senior vice president of brand marketing, said.
“For many of them, this is a first opportunity to define
themselves among new college friends by their decorating
and expression of personal style. We want to be seen as
a relevant contributor to a very exciting time in their
JCPenney will look at online games as a top option to
engage with its younger customers in a relevant way in
the future, Anik said.
The game will be available through mid-September,