Chicago Sears is teaming up with MTV to produce a back-to-school movie, while adding a line of street clothes and accessories designed by hip-hop artist LL Cool J. The strategy is aimed at tapping a new market for the retailer: the young, hip and urban, according to the Associated Press.
"While mom may decide what the acceptable place is to shop, the kids are deciding what clothes they want and what places have it," said Richard Gerstein, Sears' chief marketing officer. "If we come out of our season with much more relevance with this group, and improving our sales and profitability with this group, we think it's a big win."
The LL Cool J gear will be available in mid-September. Meanwhile, the movie is slated to air on MTV on Aug. 11.
"The American Mall" movie, produced by the team responsible for the tween-loved "High School Musical" series, is a massive cross-promotion between MTV and Sears.
Scenes for the 87-minute film were shot in a Utah Sears store. Characters wear Sears clothes, which shoppers can purchase. And the actors will appear in Sears advertisements and circulars. Sears will sell the DVD and soundtrack in stores, while promoting the film and getting commercial time when the movie airs on MTV in August.