Music and Denim unite in KOHL’S 2008 Back-To-School campaign with Celebrity-Iinspired product available only at KOHL’S
Kohl’s brands align with top musical artists to create an integrated marketing campaign that speaks to shoppers of all ages
MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. — Kohl’s Department Stores (NYSE: KSS) today announced its 2008 back-to-school marketing campaign designed to appeal to a cross-generational group of shoppers. As part of Kohl’s (‘Inspired’) ‘Inspired by the Artists … worn by you’ campaign, strong-performing juniors’ and young men’s denim brands are connected with today’s most relevant musical artists, including: Lenny Kravitz and Levi’s; Avril Lavigne designing Abbey Dawn; Hayden Panettiere and Candie’s; Plain White T’s and Urban Pipeline; The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Tony Hawk; and Vanessa Carlton and SO.
The cross-generational program is designed to appeal not only to teens, but also to moms, as both groups influence purchasing decisions during this timeframe. Denim, the common thread throughout the ‘Inspired’ campaign, speaks universally to both of these groups. Each unique collection provides affordable wardrobe solutions that celebrate the versatility of denim and its ability to define style with every new generation.
“The ‘Inspired’ campaign is an idea that taps into the dynamic convergence between fashion, music and culture,” said Julie Gardner, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Kohl’s Department Stores. “To bring this to life, our brands are connected with some of today’s coolest musical artists — Lenny Kravitz and Levi’s, Avril Lavigne and Abbey Dawn, Hayden Panettiere and Candie’s, Plain White T’s and Urban Pipeline, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Tony Hawk and Vanessa Carlton and SO — who have been encouraged to bring their own personal vibe to the mix. The result is unique fashion collections available at Kohl’s that will appeal to a diverse group of shoppers. Beginning in July, the multimedia campaign will be seen across marketing mediums that are relevant to both students and their moms.”
In addition to artist-inspired denim collections, the fully integrated campaign consists of national advertising, a consumer engagement contest, in-store graphics, online and digital media, direct mail and public relations. The new song “Love Revolution” by Lenny Kravitz is incorporated into campaign elements and was selected for its inspiring message of unity, love and infusing passion into all aspects of life.
Kohl’s will run a combination of 30- and 60-second television spots that leverage the ‘Inspired’ artists beginning the week of July 27 during popular shows such as “Ugly Bett” and “One Tree Hill”. Through a partnership with MTV, a variation of the ads will air on MTV during select prime time and daytime slots beginning July 27. Kohl’s banner advertising and links to the ‘Inspired’ campaign microsite will be featured on MTV.com.
Each spot shares a common look and feel and illustrates the world of music where denim is prevalent in all genres, generations and styles. The first spot features Lenny Kravitz outfitted in Levi’s 511 denim performing “Love Revolution.” The second is a multiartist spot starring Avril Lavigne, Plain White T’s, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Vanessa Carlton. This spot includes a custom adaptation of “Love Revolution” and highlights each artist’s ‘Inspired’ collection. The final spot, set in a Candie’s-inspired club, features Hayden Panettiere leading a group of female fans on a revolution as she performs a song from her not-yet released debut album.
The ‘Inspired’ campaign also will include ads featuring Avril Lavigne and Plain White T’s. The ads, scheduled to run in the September issues of CosmoGirl! and Seventeen magazines, are designed to drive consumers to the denim-centric consumer engagement contest.
Lenny Kravitz will appear in one billboard in the Milwaukee market and will be featured in a wallscape in the New York market. Avril Lavigne also will be featured in one billboard in the Milwaukee market.
Out-of-home advertising will be displayed in both markets beginning July 14.
Consumer engagement contest
Kohl’s gathered exclusive footage from each musical artist telling their favorite denim stories. These personal testimonials form the foundation of the online contest which encourages entrants to share their individual stories that highlight a memorable moment tied to fashion or denim. Open to consumers ages 13 and up, video submissions will be accepted via the popular social networking site Facebook, and will be voted on by the public. One grand prize winner will receive a “Rock Like a Star” experience which will include a $10,000 cash prize, concert tickets, $1,000 Kohl’s gift card, artist-autographed merchandise and more. Additionally, two first place and 100 sweepstakes winners also will be awarded prizes.
In-store campaign support found within the juniors’ area includes department and back wall graphics and unique displays. To celebrate the universal connection between denim and music, select store entrances will be transformed into a concert-like experience with over-the-door and vestibule signage. Artist music will be played throughout the store. Denim-inspired gift cards also will be available for purchase beginning late June.
The ‘Inspired’ online experience will include a Kohl’s back-to-school microsite, as well as online advertisements and postings to popular social networks. The microsite will host a dedicated section for each artist where fans will be able to view images, merchandise information and bios, as well as links to purchase ‘Inspired’ merchandise. Additionally, visitors will be able to access the consumer engagement video contest featuring denim stories and download songs from select artists. Exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the campaign also will be highlighted.
About the ‘Inspired’ collections
The ‘Inspired’ campaign features each musical artist and their individual back-to-school denim collection. Found within the juniors’ and young men’s departments, a variety of apparel and accessories — including graphic tees, denim bottoms, woven tops, necklaces and bracelets — will be available throughout the back-to-school season. Additional artist information:
Grammy-Award winning singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz and Levi’s have teamed up with Kohl’s to ‘Inspire’ Levi’s 511 denim and two exclusive tees based on Kravitz’s latest album, “It’s Time for a Love Revolution.” Kravitz, a top-selling artist in rock history, was a natural fit for the Levi’s brand, which is Kohl’s number one national back-to-school brand. Kravitz will be touring the U.S. this fall.
Rocker, actress and teen idol Avril Lavigne has pieces such as graphic tees and jeans from her new Abbey Dawn collection, available only at Kohl’s. Lavigne is currently on tour promoting her most recent album, “The Best Damn Thing.” Abbey Dawn, designed by Lavigne and inspired by her personal sense of style, brings customers a lifestyle brand that blends rock with a feminine edge.
Candie’s girl and star of NBC’s “Heroes,” Hayden Panettiere’s collection features apparel, accessories and footwear, including key back-to-school fashion styles such as a metallic bomber jacket and polka-dot ruffle top. True to the Candie’s brand, Panettiere’s ‘Inspired’ collection is fun, flirty and playful. In addition to acting and philanthropy, Panettiere is set to release her first music single later this summer.
Twice, Grammy nominated for their hit single “Hey There Delilah,” Plain White T’s bring their signature style to Urban Pipeline with graphic tees, hoodies and slim fit denim. Laid back, yet style-conscious, the band complements and personifies the young men’s brand. Plain White T’s will release their highly anticipated new album, “Big Bad World,” September 23.
Florida-based band, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, adds to the Tony Hawk collection with items such as hoodies, polos and loose-fit jeans. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus resonates with the alternative Hawk consumer who strives for originality. The band is slated to record a follow-up album to the successful “Don’t You Fake It” this summer.
Grammy-nominated, multiplatinum singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton’s collection features gray denim, graphic tees and heirloom-inspired, alluring accessories from SO. Both she and SO embody an artfully casual style that is expressed through music and merchandise. Currently writing and touring, Vanessa Carlton continues to promote her most recent single, “Hands on Me,” from her critically acclaimed CD, “Heroes & Thieves.”
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