ISSUE NO. 66 06/20/12

Teen Vogue is spearheading the launch of a new shopping holiday called "Back-to-School Saturday" as a way of drumming up excitement among teen girls during the critical back-to-school season. The event, inspired by Vogue Magazine's Fashion Night Out, will feature sales and events from two dozen retail partners like Aéropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Express, Maybelline New York, Guess and H&M as well as four Procter & Gamble brands: CoverGirl, Olay, Pantene and Tampax. While the intent is to "create a moment of imagination and motivation," the hope is to make this special shopping day a permanent part of the retail calendar, Jason Wagenheim (vice president and publisher of Teen Vogue) told the NY Times.

Typically, the back-to-school shopping season runs anywhere from eight to 12 weeks and can start as early as June and go as late as September, depending on the region. Because traffic and promotional activities tend to peak in mid- to late August, Teen Vogue selected August 11th for the first special shopping day. Leading up to that day, teen shoppers will see ads and posters encouraging them to "Get ready, get set, get shopping!" from Teen Vogue. Also, social media will be involved with Teen Vogue already capturing a related hashtag, #btss, and an iPhone app called Teen Vogue Insider which in the works.
Back-to-School Saturday provides an "opportunity to get out in front of this key audience" in a way that "gives shape and focus to something that's already existed, elevating it, event-izing it and celebrating it," noted Deborah Marquardt, vice president for media and integrated marketing at Maybelline New York.

Finding a new angle on the back-to-school platform can be a challenge, but Teen Vogue has made a valiant effort with its one-day-only shopping event. Shoppers looking for good deals will be out in force for the special offers if Back-to-School Saturday is embraced like other shopping holidays, most notably Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The key to success is a strong stable of partnering brands to offer deals compelling enough to bring shoppers in-store. Consider how you can reinvigorate recurring platforms by creating new shopping events. It may not be useful to limit your event to a single day as Teen Vogue did, but you can build interest and excitement with the smart, focused use of social media. Also, think about partnering with complementary brands to heighten the value of your offers.

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"Shopping Calendar Gets a School Day," NY Times, 5/30/12

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Back to School Saturday, Teen Vogue

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