Department store chain Kohls is leveraging mobile video in an attempt to reach a young audience and promote its new junior fashion line called S.o. R.a.d.
To accompany the fashion line, Kohls has teamed with media company AwesomenessTV to launch a four season YouTube series featuring top teen influencers called Lifes S.o. R.a.d. The film series will not only aim to provide a source of entertainment for the target audience but will also showcase details of the line, drawing in Generation Zers and directing them in-store and online to check out the clothing items further.
Effectively reaching our younger millennial and teen audiences requires a new marketing approach, said Will Setliff, EVP of marketing at Kohls, Milwaukee. We partnered with AwesomenessTV because they have a network of influencers who are already talking about style and fashion.
So by empowering these girls to form our narrative in their own way, Kohls becomes a part of an organic conversation thats already happening in this influential online space.
Appealing to Gen Z
Debuting Sept. 19 and starring actresses Amanda Steel and Lia Marie Johnson, the scripted series will begin with an imaginative depiction of the actresses involvement with creating the fashion line.
Each episode is expected to socially engage viewers by encouraging use of the hashtag #SoRad on social networks, such as Twitter and Instagram, to hopefully spread the word of the lines new products.
Each of the series seasons will feature a different pair of influencers along with unique storylines.
The initial release of items in the fashion line will range in price from $30-$48 and will feature dresses, sweaters, skirts, knits and leggings, which are all inspired by a number of different genres, such as urban style, Tokyo pop culture and preppy princess looks.
To introduce the series, AwesomenessTV is promoting it via a YouTube video.
TV fashion style often inspires viewers to recreate seen looks, and with Kohls direct use of its products through the YouTube film series, the store chain can concretely and continuously advertise those products through entertainment.
As YouTube celebrities gain popularity through the platform, they are increasingly being recognized and admired by their age groups. Celebrities Ms. Steel and Ms. Johnson undoubtedly have accumulated a collection of followers and fans, which will likely cause Kohls initiatives to resonate with the target audience, given viewers are likely to recognize them.
The prevalence of video
Retailer Kmart promoted its back-to-school apparel and accessories collection with a YouTube video featuring a rap song performed by cafeteria staff that enticed students eating lunch to join in and be excited for school.
As students were sporting Kmart fashion and tech accessories, such as headphones and hats, they became engaged to the song and begin to dance along on the cafeteria tables. The video attempted to relate to a young audience and cause them to lean toward the brand for back-to-school shopping (see story).
Similarly, Old Navy reimagined the tried-and-true celebrity tie-in for its latest back-to-school campaign by building the effort around stars from YouTube as opposed to TV or film, reflecting how much time teens spend consuming video content from their mobile devices.
The apparel and accessories retailer's campaign focused on an inspirational music video titled Unlimited and aimed to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of America by selling the song on iTunes. Having featured appearances from YouTube stars from AwesomenessTV, similarly to Kohls campaign, the partnership aimed to offer multichannel access to the public by offering a glimpse of familiar faces.
The video used in-image advertising, which redirected viewers to additional videos that tell more about the campaign, behind the scenes footage and interviews with students (see story).
The use of video has been prevalently seen this season and has thus far shown to resonate with the young audience these brands are attempting to reach.
Younger audiences have a different relationship with media, Mr. Setliff said. Its important to start a dialogue with content they care about in channels that fit their world versus just pushing out our messages.
Thats why for this age group, video and social media are the right platforms to generate the awareness we want in an authentic and natural way.
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York
Caitlyn Bohannon is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.