ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Kmart?s hip-hop back-to-school videos center on street style

Retailer Kmart is promoting its back-to-school apparel and accessories collection with a YouTube video featuring a rap song performed by cafeteria staff that entices students eating lunch to join in and be excited for school.

As students are sporting Kmart fashion and tech accessories, such as headphones and hats, they become engaged to the song and begin to dance along on the cafeteria tables. The video attempts to relate to a young audience and cause them to lean toward the brand for back-to-school shopping. 

?We wanted something fun, energetic and upbeat that would resonate with kids and moms,? said Jamie Stein, vice president of public relations at Sears Holdings, Chicago. ?Hip-hop appeals to a wide swath of young viewers throughout the United States and as a lyrical-driven genre gives us a platform to communicate our message about Kmart?s back to school deals.?

?Lunch ladies are endearing, cultural icons with strong emotional connections to childhood. Their appeal spans generations, economic classes and gender. 

?Their work often goes unappreciated as the unsung heroes of school lunchrooms. Kmart decided to feature lunch ladies in its back to school campaign to tap into their lore and show them some love.?

The cool factor
Kmart?s YouTube creation, featuring its back-to-school apparel and accessories products, aims to further direct shoppers to its site via the use of in-image advertisements at the end of the video.

These in-image ads redirect viewers to other Kmart YouTube videos, to view the online catalog and the back-to-school general homepage. 

There are also links that direct viewers to Kmart?s Facebook and Twitter pages and to subscribe to the Kmart YouTube channel.

Closed caption is provided at the bottom of the video, so even though the song is fast and hard to keep up with, users can read the lyrics below, which include enticements for the Shop Your Way program.

Pinpointing the cool factor that adolescents value, the video aims to mirror that aspect to attract young viewers with entertainment.

By execution of a memorable TV ad, viewers are more likely to search for it on YouTube to watch again, where they will find the direct links and be more likely to inquire further.

Aiming to please
For retail giants Sears and Kmart, mobile ordering and free store pick-up services have aimed to alleviate stress for its consumers, and the retailers took it a step further by making both chains available for interchangeable pick up.

If consumers purchase an item on, the item can now be picked up at a Kmart location and vice versa. This implementation shows the retailers? attempts to accommodate the growing expectations of its consumers (see story).

In preparation for the 2013 holiday season, Kmart and Sears ramped up their Shop Your Way membership program with holiday-time deals and mobile application updates.

The mobile innovations included a new feature in the Shop Your Way app called Shop?In that lets consumers check-in at a store to browse merchandise, sales and coupons. At this time, the retailers were also waiving layaway service fees, offering a Pay in Store feature online and providing free in-store pickup (see story).

It is common for these retailers to be very active during the holiday season and other seasonal events, and they are quickly learning to build their mobile presence, given an increase in mobile shopping, to better reach these consumers.

?Online video is no longer an emerging platform with teens but the primary medium through which they consume just about everything, such as information, news, entertainment and even school coursework,? Ms. Stein said. ?Couple the growth in online video with another teen passion point, music, and we?ve landed squarely in teen territory.?

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon, editorial assistant for Mobile Marketer, New York