- Macy's back-to-school promotion includes its first shoppable commercials on Snapchat and a video-sharing challenge on TikTok. The department store's "All Brand New" campaign also includes digital and TV spots aimed at celebrating kids' individuality and self-expression, per an announcement.
- As the exclusive sponsor of season three of "The Dead Girls Detective Agency," an original Snapchat series, Macy's will be integrated in mentions and product placements in episodes. In the first "swipe up to shop" activation, mobile viewers can shop back-to-school looks by interacting with non-skippable commercials. The series returns to Snapchat's Discover section on Aug. 11.
- Macy's also created an "All Brand New Challenge" for TikTok, the social video app that's popular among U.S. teens. The challenge urges mobile users to record videos and inspire others to share their style for the school year. Macy's worked with creative agency Major Behavior on the campaign.
Macy's "All Brand New" campaign includes social media activations aimed at younger audiences who are typically more difficult to reach through traditional media like TV and print. By letting viewers of Snapchat's "The Dead Girls Detective Agency" shop directly in the app, the retailer created an opportunity to generate direct sales from fans who want to shop the looks of the teenage drama's characters. One possible hitch is getting permission from parents to make payments for mobile orders.
Hosting the TikTok challenge is another sign of how major marketers are beginning to incorporate the popular social video app to their campaigns. Challenges have the power to go viral on TikTok as users urge others to respond to videos with their own creations. Chipotle Mexican Grill this year has run two challenges that went viral on TikTok among fans of the burrito chain, while retailer Uniqlo ran a campaign that challenged users to post videos of themselves wearing their favorite outfits from the brand. TikTok has been downloaded 1.2 billion times worldwide and 104 million times in the U.S., per research firm Sensor Tower, and is testing new features to appeal to a broader user base while addressing brand safety concerns.
Macy's has been active on social media this year to drive sales at a time when its physical locations are struggling. The retail giant reported a dip in Q1 revenue from a year earlier, although it saw double-digit growth in e-commerce and mobile channels. In May, Macy's launched a mobile-based experiential campaign that urged people to use their phones at summer gathering places across the country. Pop-up stations featured Pinterest Pincodes that visitors could scan to unlock to a board featuring outfits curated for each location. For the holiday shopping season last year, Macy's created personalized gift guides with shoppable Instagram Stories.
Meanwhile, mobile usage is set to grow to 60% of back-to-school shoppers this year from 53% in 2018 as consumers rely on smartphones to look up prices, find deals and buy items from retailer websites and apps. Almost half (49%) of mobile shoppers said they'll use their devices to make a purchase, up from 46% last year, per an annual consumer survey by Deloitte. Total back-to-school spending is expected to rise slightly to $27.8 billion this year, the firm forecasts.