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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Macy’s Prom

Entered in Retail & E-Commerce


Throughout the 80s and 90s, department stores were the go-to resource for prom dresses as the retail market wasn't as fragmented as it is today. Increasingly, teens viewed department stores, like Macy's, as old-fashioned, preferring quick and affordable trends available at retailers like Zara, H&M and Forever 21.

Macy's challenge was to overcome the "fast fashion" competition, which rolls out new clothing on a regular basis at lower prices, and connect with teens during a saturated prom season.

Macy's has seen success with Millennials through Msytlelab, the brand's affordable junior's department, which offers trendy and affordable apparel and accessories for girls to look original, effortless and authentic. Mstylelab was also an online destination dedicated to teens that combines pop culture topics with fashion. With it, we positioned Mstylelab as the anchor for Macy's prom destination.

Strategy and Execution

Teens are pressured into finding an original dress for their prom experience. Younger consumers use social media to browse different styles and they're sharing trends with friends on a constant basis. In fact, 58% of Millennials get style inspiration from trusted peers online, often searching for dresses and seeking approval on social media.

If what's available for purchase in stores isn't what they're seeing within their social circle, they'll look for new places to find the custom looks they crave. Additionally, while today's young shoppers look for the latest styles, they're also seeking highly personalized looks that will help make them stand out from their peers, not blend in.

On Facebook, registries are created to compare looks, which leads teens to shop sooner to get the outfit they want before their peers. As if finding the right dress wasn't stressful enough, there is now an added pressure on teens to find a dress that no one else has in order to avoid the dreaded 'Who wore it best?' comparisons.

To reach the teen market, we connected Mstylelab with Millennial-style trends through the voices that prom-goers know and love by partnering with top teen fashion vloggers.

We leveraged a three-pronged strategy to timely pulse messaging throughout their path to purchase. First, we built awareness of prom trends, then we drove consideration for Macy's as a fashion authority and finally we incorporated sale messaging for any last-minute shoppers. We reinforced these pillars cross-screen through video, high-impact display and social amplification.

We partnered with three top teen fashion and lifestyle vloggers that represented a diverse Millennial audiences: MyLifeAsEva (3MM+ YouTube subscribers), Teala Dunn (from TBS' Are We There Yet), and the Clevver Style (YouTube's top 10-network) and maximized reach by natively featuring Macy's videos across their YouTube channels. Influencers personally encouraged video views through social posts.

Understanding this is a saturated market and teens are shopping early, we launched our campaign ahead of our competitors. We carefully crafted three videos and strategically flighted the content to meet teens along the steps of their prom shopping journey. The first video launched on March 13 and featured "4 Bold Must-Have Dresses for Fall Prom," meeting teens at the start of their search. The second video launched on March 27 and was more actionable featuring "Get Ready for Prom" suggestions. Finally, the third video launched on April 10 and spoke to those teens looking for last-minute deals, "4 Looks for Prom under $199."

We worked with Teen Vogue on a Lookbook sponsorship, featuring trends and fashion go-tos, and programmatically supported distribution across teen sites. All content drove to Macy's Prom and influencer microsites while #MacysProm encouraged sharing and social activity.


This campaign was a great example of how important audience insights — like millennial shopping behaviors — can help drive successful media strategy. We leveraged millennial influencers versus mainstream celebrities to generate awareness and traffic with the engaged fan base. We also found success on newer channels, like Instagram, which should be considered for future influencer campaigns as it resonates well with the Millennial audience. Finally, we tested video engagement with videos launching simultaneously within a hub to see what drove the most traffic, and optimized our plan according to what consumers wanted the most.

Specifically, we saw:


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Carat , Macy's


Entry Credits