Garage parks new teen-savvy campaign

The Quebec-based retailer is looking to 'click' with teen girls with digital media and a special guest fashion photographer.

Teens, much like bloodhounds, are adept at sniffing out inauthentic plays by brands and marketers, and it’s a space that requires careful consideration.

So when Groupe Dynamite, the parent company of teen-focused retailer Garage, was doing research for its spring fashion campaign and discovered the burgeoning world of professional-grade teen photographers, it occurred to them that there was no better way to be authentic in its messaging than to have it created by the demo it was targeting, Barbara Epstein, marketing director, Groupe Dynamite, tells MiC.

The result is an in-store and online spring fashion campaign featuring, and partially shot by, 16-year-old Wisconsin-based photographer Sarah Smiley. The campaign incorporates in-store signage, QR codes, storefront creative, the brand’s e-commerce site and its branded YouTube channel.

Although fashion is at the forefront, Smiley and her story are central to the campaign’s media execution.

A behind-the-scenes look at her involvement can be activated by scanning the QR codes incorporated into the in-store signage and a ‘making of’ video on the brand’s YouTube channel profiles the photographer as well.

It’s the first time the retailer has used QR codes, and they represented an ideal way to tell a more complex story via the in-store creative, Epstein says, adding that teens, perhaps unlike an older demo, are an ideal audience for mobile tech like QR codes.

‘We think the QR codes allow our customer base to interact with the brand on a completely different level,’ she explains. ‘There are definitely some teen consumers that shop at Garage that are very connected with the brand and who do want to know more, who do want to go behind the scenes and understand and see how things are done.’

The campaign is slated to run throughout the spring fashion promotional season. All of Garage’s media development and marketing is handled in house.