Retail TouchPoints: JC Penney, Forever 21 ‘Haul’ In User-Generated Videos For Back to School Promos
By Amanda Ferrante
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion
is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
an age where consumer-generated content reigns, tech-savvy consumers have found
a new way to support their shopping habits — by broadcasting their
latest finds on YouTube for the social sphere to see. The videos, known as “hauls,” have
made an impressive impact on YouTube, as more than 159,000 have been posted
to the user-generated site. Retailers have taken notice, and several are now
integrating the concept into their overall marketing strategy.
Forever 21 and American Eagle have harnessed the haul videos for viral promotions.
Penney recently announced plans to give gift cards to teens who create haul
videos after shopping at the store. Urban Outfitters is taking the concept
a step further by offering the “UO Haul: Shop & Tell” Contest,
giving haulers the chance to win up to $500 in gift cards.
“Anytime a retailer or manufacturer can get a consumer to evangelize
their offering to their peers and social network it is a clear win,” said
Matt Britton, CEO of Mr. Youth, a social media agency focused on marketing
messaging for teens. “With the growing reach and influence of today’s
teen consumer and the fading impact of traditional media, this trend exemplifies
the new and often sophisticated choices retailers face in reaching consumers.
Any major seasonal tent pole for a retailer (Holiday, Back To School, Dads & Grads,
etc.) can effectively use ‘haul videos’ to reach consumers in a
unique and memorable fashion.”
Haul videos can be a lucrative opportunity. Some haulers receive money from
the companies whose products they review, typically in disclosed
posts. Haulers with corporate sponsors sometimes host contests, giving away
products as a way to attract new subscribers.
Two popular internet haulers,
sisters Blair and Elle Fowler, gave one retailer a particularly big boost.
Only 24 hours after they posted a review of a watch they bought, it sold out
in every color and the company’s website crashed
from the boost in traffic, according to ABC News. The sisters are even
in talks with Forever 21 for a lucrative contract, although nothing has yet
been set in stone. The sisters’ videos have been viewed over 75 million
times on YouTube.
Although the hauling trend has indefinite potential for growth,
Mr., Britton encourages retailers to think about the potential drawbacks, which
- “Participating consumers spreading misinformation about products
including price and quality;
- Consumers creating haul videos that aren’t on brand which could chip
away at a retailers overall equity;
- The lack of ability to maintain a consistent message from such an effort
that is coming from such a diverse audience of content creators.”
Discussion Questions: What do you think of the “hauling” trend
around user-generated videos? How can the opportunity be further maximized?
What are the potential risks?
- JC Penney, Forever 21 “Haul” In
User-Generated Videos For Back to School Promos – Retail TouchPoints