Sears Eyes Teen Girls with Prom Site

May 01, 2008 9:30 PM  By

Ask a high-school-age girl where she wants to buy her prom gown, and in all probability she’s not going to answer “Sears.” But the multichannel general merchant is hoping to show teens its sexier side with a new e-commerce subsite,, and a social networking tie-in.

Called Prom Premiere 2008, the site offers an interactive experience and the opportunity to click through the online gallery of dresses from Sears’ Short & Sassy, Glitter & Glam, Ball Gowns, and Slim & Sleek collections.

“We are interested in introducing Sears to this audience,” says Tom Zanoni, group account director at WhittmanHart Interactive, the agency that created the subsite. Picking a prom dress is an important decision for high school girls, he notes. “If they trust Sears with this purchase, we’ve gone a long way in establishing and strengthening their relationship with Sears.”

The prom subsite visitors can select any thumbnail to see a larger detail image of the dress, and how it would look in different sizes and with different skin tones. The site also offers one-click links to shoes, purses and other prom accessories from

Users can share the dresses they like with friends and family through e-mail, and can also upload dresses to their profile page on Facebook. Sears is supporting the campaign with in-store displays, signage, and online advertising with Facebook’s 2.4 million users. The Facebook campaign has so far been effective, Zanoni says.

“A user may see the ad, click to enter the experience, and then post a dress back onto her Facebook page,” he explains. “This was important, since the target audience will have a great deal of influence over the selection process. Their friends would then be able to see their chosen dress or dresses, since they are typically notified when friends update their Facebook pages.”