Ypulse Case Study: Stardoll and Kohl's Back-To-School Campaign

Today we present the first of what we hope will be an ongoing series of Ypulse case studies that examine new and noteworthy youth-targeted campaigns. For our inaugural case, we dive into the timely topic of virtual worlds and real retail by examining the first line of clothing from a major fashion retailer to debut virtually on Stardoll. If you have a case study you would like us to present email me.

Ypulse Case Study: Kohl’s Back-to-School Campaign on Stardoll

kohls_stardoll_virtual_worldsBackground
With back-to-school sales taking a hit last year, more and more retailers have realized they need to reach out to young shoppers online.

Kohl’s partnership with a popular teen and tween dress-up site was an ideal platform for promoting a new clothing line designed by pop star Avril Lavigne who was already featured on Stardoll as one of the celebrity avatars that users can dress up

The Appeal
Stardoll’s strong emphasis on apparel and its steady growth (in August 2008 the site had reached 20 million users, doubling its membership in under a year), made it an attractive choice for any brand looking to turn virtual goods into actual sales with teen and tween girls.

The Steps
Various steps took place before this collaboration: last summer Stardoll launched a virtual mall called StarPlaza for fashion labels to introduce virtual collections for the site’s members to purchase with virtual currency. And last spring the site experimented with a feature that allowed users to take logos or graphics from the virtual world’s labels and add them to t-shirts or other items in the real world.

The Results
In its first 16 days, Kohl’s Stardoll boutique logged 2.2 million visits and sold 1.8 million virtual items. In terms of how this translated into real-world sales, Kohls.com enticed 97,000 visitors to click through from the…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I think we have a tendency to think that the world revolves around us and what we want and having a hard time to live up to the standards of having/living a perfect life.”—Female, 22, WA

A new quiz app’s R-rated categories are capturing teens’ attention. FriendO is rising through the ranks of the app store, but not by following the Play Nice, PG strategy that took tbh viral. FriendO users move up their friends’ rankings boards as they answer questions about each other, proving their friendship. If someone sends the app to three friends, they unlock NSFW categories like MSFK (Marry, Sex, Friend, Kill). But people are worried that none of these categories are barred to young users. (Mashable)

TGI Fridays is adding Instagrammable milkshakes to their menu with “cascading toppings,” “suspiciously” similar to Black Tap’s infamous creations. The “Extreme” milkshakes “take dessert to the next level” with a seasonal option piled high with Christmas cookies, and a s’mores shake topped with marshmallows, Oreos, and graham cracker crumbs. If that’s not enough to get Millennials in the door of chain restaurants that they notoriously avoid, both shakes can be ordered “boozy” (a tactic we’ve seen before). (Grub Street)

Seventeen is creating an LGBTQ community for teens with their new, “social-first” platform, Here. Instagram and Facebook form the main hub of Here, along with a dedicated vertical on Seventeen itself. Launched less than a week ago, content is already popping up on social and the site. Seventeen is appealing to the Genreless Generation, and one editor said Here will be “a resource and a place for teens to express themselves.” (Fashionista)

Rising musician Tallia Storm says her Instagram paid for her debut album. Lauded by Sir Elton John and Nile Rodgers, 19-year-old Storm leveraged The Influencer Effect for her own gain: Her debut album, Teenage Tears, was entirely self-financed via her earnings as a “fashion ‘it girl’” and Instagram influencer with over 300,000 followers. As a result, she had full creative freedom and became a “part of the growing staple of acts who are not repped by a major label.” Oh, and she got to open for Sir Elton John. (PR Newswire)

Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner’s online-only beauty brand sensation, has teamed up with Topshop to drive young shoppers in-store. Brick-and-mortar is far from dead, with research from TABS Analytics showing 66% of shoppers prefer to purchase new cosmetics in-store—and brands like this one are betting on IRL retail. Kylie Cosmetics is now available at seven Topshop stores across the country for just five weeks, and they’re accruing long lines of fans to test out the coveted lip kits in person. (BuzzFeed)

“…[Rick and Morty] has our generation's sense of nihilism, fear of wasted time, humor in unpredictability, and shy optimism in human relations.”—Female, 17, TX

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