JC Penney Jumps into Haul Videos

Several weeks ago we talked about haul videos and how brands were starting to take an interest in the YouTube phenomenon. Now one major US retailer has made haul videos a huge part of its back-to-school campaign.

JC Penney’s back-to-school campaign is extremely comprehensive. Mobile sites, an iAd (launching in August), magazine partnerships, and more. If there are teens there, JC Penney plans to reach them. And one of the ways it’s reaching teens is through a series of sponsored haul videos created by teens who already have a foothold in the haul community.

Both JC Penney and the teens involved are quick to admit that the shopping trip was paid for through a gift card from the company, so there’s no deception going on. But will teens be interested in watching a corporate-funded haul? So far, the first video hasn’t gained much traction on YouTube, though it’s possible that it might be picking up more views on the company’s teen-oriented Facebook page.

If this takes off, we’d be interested to see mall-specific hauls. But whether haul culture is widespread (or long-lasting) enough to make it worthwhile remains to be seen.

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