Rosedale Center shows teens malls are 'fun' with Stranger Things-inspired video

A chunk of Stranger Things 3 is set in a mall.

Campaign: Things are Getting Strange at Rosedale Center
Company: Rosedale Center
Agency: Hubbard Interactive
Duration: July to September 2019

The third season of Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things takes viewers back to what it was like to visit a mall in the 1980s. In honor of the past merging with the present, Rosedale Center, a shopping center in Roseville, Minnesota, created a Stranger Things-style back-to-school video with influencers to showcase the mall’s offerings.

Every year, Rosedale Center’s marketing team comes up with a campaign centered around back-to-school. The goal is to "appeal to the high school and college kids and show them that malls are fun," said Sarah Fossen, director of marketing and experience at Rosedale Center.

The idea for 2019’s campaign came to Fossen when, along with millions of other Americans, she binge-watched the third season of Stranger Things over the Fourth of July weekend.

"It was a throwback to how we all grew up with malls as a place to gather," she said. "We are seeing it again with this next generation. Millennials and Gen Z are keeping malls relevant. They consider it a full experience."

And just like that, the idea for a Stranger Things-inspired video that bridged the divide between the 1980s and now was born. It was a particularly important campaign, as it was also a celebration of the shopping center’s 50th anniversary. 

The first step was selecting the teen influencers Eva Igo, Savanna Oberfeld, Michael Senich and Sklyer Seviola as the video’s stars. All four were chosen for their audience and reach, Fossen said. 

The video was shot in Rosedale Center and featured the teens wearing a variety of 80s-inspired styles at a variety of price points. Shirts, for example, ranged from $8 to $180.

The campaign launched on August 1, 2019, and was promoted on Rosedale’s social media channels as well as the influencers’ social media accounts.

View this post on Instagram

?? We interrupt your streaming to bring you a GIVEAWAY!?? Win a $100 Von Maur Gift Card and a Dungeons and Dragons Game! To enter: Like this post! ?? Tag your binge watching pals! ?? You MUST follow us! @RosedaleCenter ?? Giveaway ends August 12th at 11:59 PM Link to official rules in our bio! • • • #MyRosedale #shoppingmode #visitrosevillemn #rosedalecenter #onlyinmn #midwestisbest #influencers #shoppingaddict #strangerthings3 #shoppingperfected #summer #styleideas #retailtherapy #ootd #summer19 #80sfashion #mplsfashion #fashionpic #retailtherapy #styleoftheday #lookoftheday #80saesthetic #createyourself #summermsp #vonmaur #strangerthings #80s #bingewatching #strangerthingssquad #giveaway

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Rosedale also worked with the communications agency Hubbard Interactive to launch a digital campaign that served targeted ads to users by geo-fencing areas around local high schools and universities. 

To engage shoppers at the mall, the campaign also featured original Stranger Thing-inspired GIPHY stickers for Instagram and filters for Snapchat. 

In the video’s first six days, it generated 65,000 views and 4,000 engagements on Facebook and 24,000 likes and 600 comments on Instagram. In that same period, Rosedale Center’s Instagram followers and likes increased 761% and 1,276% respectively. On Facebook, page views were up 440%, while page video views increased 1,521%.

The customized GIPHY stickers, meanwhile, were viewed more than 2.2 million times, while the Snapchat filters received 17,000 views, 5,000 swipes, and 600 uses. 

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