Kohl’s turns to YouTube to launch junior’s line
Asserting that TV is no longer effectively reaching teenage girls, Kohl’s is using a YouTube mini-series featuring top teen influencers to launch its new limited-edition juniors line.
The first part of the S.o. R.a.d. junior’s line will launch at Kohl’s on Sept. 22, three days after "Life’s S.o. R.a.d.," the multi-part original scripted series, debuts on AwesomenessTV, a unit of DreamWorks Animation.
The initial series stars YouTube personalities Amanda Steele and Lia Marie Johnson in an imaginative depiction of their involvement in the S.o. R.a.d. brand’s creation. Ms. Steele, 15, has racked up 100 million views across her videos on YouTube while Ms. Johnson’s videos have been viewed 64 million times. Many of the videos deal with fashion and style as well as teenage life.
The stars of the show will wear pieces from Kohl’s line, which will feature an array of dresses, sweaters and skirts. Each episode will also engage viewers in a social conversation using the #sorad hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. Each of the future series’ seasons will feature a different pair of influencers and completely unique storylines.
The campaign comes as teens are increasingly digesting video content online, rather than on TV.
"We weren’t finding these consumers and our voice wasn’t relevant," Will Setliff, EVP of marketing at Kohl’s, told the Wall Street Journal of the department store chain’s past teen efforts. By comparison, he believes digital content creation and social media offer opportunities for "genuine, organic conversation" with the teen demographic.
"Younger audiences have a different relationship with media," Mr. Setliff told Internet Retailer. "It’s important to start a dialogue with content they care about in channels that fit their world versus just pushing out our messages."
Kohl’s has agreed to buy ads on the AwesomenessTV network of YouTube channels, which boasts of 52 million subscribers. The line will also be marketed across print and digital media.
In another twist, AwesomenessTV co-developed the line and will get a royalty on sales. James Fielding, formerly CEO of Claire’s Stores and one-time president of Disney Stores Worldwide, was recently hired by AwesomenessTV as global head of consumer products and retail to boost merchandise sales. YouTube takes 45 percent of ad sales generated by videos on its network, but video creators to get the full cut of any merchandise sales.
- Kohl’s Department Stores Partners with AwesomenessTV on Breakthrough New Fashion Line and Original YouTube Series – AwesomenessTV/Kohl’s
- Kohl’s Partners With DreamWorks Unit to Market to Teens – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
- Kohl’s targets teens on YouTube with help from a DreamWorks division – Internet Retailer
- YouTube series to feature Kohl’s teen fashions – Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Is digital content offering a more relevant voice for stores to reach teenagers than traditional media? What do you think of tying a collection to an online mini-series?