Tuesday, July 22

Come See the Softcore Side of Sears

Youth of America, be warned: If you are heading back to school in September, Sears will find you.

The middle-America-mall retailer is going balls-out this summer, hoping to erase their near-Ocean State Job Lot status and return to the scope and glory of their Sears Roebuck & Co. days, when they were more like a modern-day Neiman Marcus. Their answer? Target the children, much like they singled out women years ago with their successful "Come See the Softer Side of Sears" campaign.

Sears will be everywhere. They have stopped at nothing to conquer literally every medium they could think of, from print to tv to celebrity spokespeople. But the real cash-cow they're aiming for is none other than the cool kid on the advertising block (or so they seem to think) the glorious social-networking site. So don't get your hopes up: That friend request on your Facebook homepage may not be from the hot goalie you met at soccer camp.

Sears will be all up in Facebook and MySpace, but they're really hoping to steal fans away with their own site, Arrivelounge.com. Nor are they showing any loyalty when it comes to other entertainment venues: They're pimping themselves out in Seventeen AND CosmoGIRL, The Disney Channel AND Nickelodeon, Disney's High School Musical AND MTV's rip-off The American Mall, of which Sears is the official retail sponsor. Read: exclusive product-placement rights. Cute actors wearing nothing but Sears.

Speaking of actually dressing for the camera . . . Sears, whose chairman Eddie Lampert has been bitched out before for not trying hard enough at marketing (again, I'm taking liberties here) has tapped none other than nude photographer/photographee Miss Vanessa Hudgens to be the new Sears postergirl. Vanessa's pre-back-to-school project last summer involved taking naked pics that were naturally seen everywhere.

Either way, Sears has not made a run-of-the-mill call here. Either they are brilliant for launching an interactive site with a girl who's already achieved "internet fame," or they are totally not doing their research and risking having all those women they wrangled with the "Softer Side" campaign desert them for trying to turn their daughters into amatuer, homemade, softcore pornies.

No comments: