CAMPAIGNS: Tweens discover Limited success - Consumer PR

Client: Limited, Too

PR Team: Access Communications

Campaign: Passion for Fashion

Time Frame: April - Sept. 30, 2001

Budget: $1.5 million

Girls just want to have fun, and this summer, Limited, Too gave

thousands of girls a chance to play dress-up, parade on stage, and win a

chance to meet their favorite pop stars.

Having broken away from its eponymous parent in 1999, Limited, Too

serves that niche consumer group too big to be babies, but still short

of teenage angst. Not quite two years into its independent status as a

public company, Limited, Too wanted to bring its brand to life. With the

entire market contracting, the company needed to leverage its brand

appeal to boost its back-to-school sales. The company also wanted to

increase website traffic and media coverage. According to Access

Communications VP Allyne Mills, this was Limited, Too's first attempt to

dial-up the brand marketing, and set a benchmark for success against

which all future PR efforts would be measured.

With a $1.5 million budget for staging, talent, and prizes,

flagship malls in Miami, Dallas, Chicago, LA, NYC, and Columbus, OH

(company headquarters), were booked for the events.


"Passion for Fashion" was conceived as "Nickelodeon meets the catwalk" -

a zany, high-caliber twist on the traditional fashion show, including

game-show-style contests. Celebrity was the third leg of the strategy.

Reigning Olympic figure-skating champion Tara Lipinksi was tapped as the

brand spokesperson and event host because she's very popular with

tweens, and is considered a positive role model by parents.

In addition, girls attending the events had the chance to win a trip to

NYC, along with their parents, for a grand finale concert at which boy

band O-Town and pop star Monica were scheduled to perform.


Limited, Too's wildly popular "catazine" is distributed directly to

three million girls. The late-summer events were first promoted in the

June issue, as well as with in-store flyers. All promotions pointed to

the website, where contestants were encouraged to show up dressed as

their favorite pop stars. Access bet that moms would get involved as

well, and, in fact, Mills says that "whole families showed up. It became

a family outing."

Ten girls from each group of event registrants were selected at random

to compete onstage in challenges such as a lip-synch contest and

"fashion frenzy," in which girls had to create outfits on mannequins in

just 60 seconds. City winners were flown to Manhattan to compete for a

$2,000 Limited, Too wardrobe, a $5,000 scholarship, and a

modeling opportunity. Following the fashion show, guests were invited to

meet Lipinski.


Media coverage and event attendance exceeded expectations. Mills says

1,500-2,000 parents and girls showed up in each city. Local broadcast

and print media interviewed Lipinski about the events, and gave

extensive coverage of Limited, Too's expertise in tween fashions.

National media placements included Good Morning America and a "CEO

Spotlight" on CNBC's Business Center. Gannett and Copley wire services

picked up the coverage, as well as highly influential tween magazines

J-14, Tiger Beat, All About You, and Discovery Girls.


Limited, Too SVP and GM Scott Bracale said the company plans to repeat

the events in 16-20 markets next year, and will extend the radius of the

point-of-purchase promotions. "We learned that moms are willing to drive

much farther distances than we ever thought," as the Dallas winner was a

girl who was driven in from Atlanta.

Bracale says the company also plans to scale down the staging for next

year's events. "We learned we don't need something that unique; our

brand is unique enough."

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