It’s time to add one more name to the list of retailers who are looking for effective ways to use digital platforms to reach their younger customers. The department store Kohl’s, in conjunction with AwesomenessTV, has launched the Life’s S.o. R.a.d. web series to promote the store’s S.o. R.a.d. junior fashion line.
Life’s S.o. R.a.d. will be an interactive, transmedia series covering several seasons and involving teen influencers from YouTube, who interact with the S.o. R.a.d. line in fictional situations. Viewers will be able to participate in the social conversation around the line using the hashtag #sorad on Twitter and Instagram. The first season of Life’s S.o. R.a.d. will feature Lia Marie Johnson and Amanda Steele (aka MakeupbyMandy24) getting involved with the creation of the brand, with other influencer pairs to come in the later seasons with their own unique storylines.
“We are thrilled to partner with a cutting-edge company like AwesomenessTV and leverage the power of their new frontier of YouTube influencers to bring amazing product to our junior’s shoppers,” said Will Setliff, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Kohl’s, in the release. “We recognize the growing value of digital content creation and social media consumption, and are confident this new platform will create genuine, organic conversation among our teen demographic.”
This certainly isn’t the first time a retailer has partnered with a digital studio or YouTube creator to help generate buzz about a new product line. Just recently, for example, PacSun got together with StyleHaul and a few popular beauty and fashion YouTubers to promote the retailer’s new line of denim in a back-to-school video campaign. Kohl’s decided to get in on the digital movement.
“We understand that our teen audience wants to engage with both content and influencers, that’s why the S.o. R.a.d. campaign operates on so many levels,” said Brian Robbins, Founder and CEO at AwesomenessTV, in a release. “We developed the brand first, found the perfect partner to execute in Kohl’s and then created an original series that positions Kohl’s as a style destination in a cool way.”
The Life’s S.o. R.a.d. web series will debut on September 19 on AwesomenessTV’s YouTube channel and promoted across all the network’s channels (which boast over 52 million subscribers), so the potential reach for Kohl’s is huge. Johnson and Steele will also be uploading R.a.d.-related videos to their YouTube channels. Additionally, the S.o. R.a.d. line, which features seven limited-edition capsules full of everyday essentials like sweaters, skirts, dresses, and leggings, will have the first capsule in stores on September 22, just two days after the release of the first episode of the web series.
Creative, forward-thinking initiatives like this just make me wish I’d had such opportunities available to me when I was a teenager (though I am glad I’m past that stage of life).