By Courtney Duggan • February 21 2020
Before working with Campus, Nordstrom had a college conundrum. On the whole, their brand was thriving, opening destination stores, showing collections at high-profile fashion weeks worldwide, and commanding enviable levels of brand recognition. Yet, they struggled to entice students to their stores. Nordstrom, to Gen Z, seemed to be a place their parents would shop, a place that sold clothes and accessories that they wouldn’t afford on a college budget.
So, with Campus’ help, Nordstrom decided to step into the GenZ space and really speak their language. Working with on-campus ambassadors and using pinpointed media buys, our team staged a college rivalry competition at schools across the country. The campaign highlighted the range and affordability of Nordstrom’s shoe collection, conceived to “help every student take their next best step in life with style.”
To demonstrate their investment in students and drive campaign participation Nordstrom pledged a custom Nordstrom Shoe Party to that the campus that generated the most engagement during the campaign. They also promised $100 credit for new graduation shoes to all the winning school’s seniors. With supermodel Karlie Kloss emceeing the event and promoting the brand on social, Nordstrom’s Snapchat following increased by over 60%, and the event’s Snap filter garnered nearly 7 million views.
By getting faculty, staff and even their university President involved, students at the University of South Carolina blitzed the rivalry competition and were crowned the winning school. The event was envisioned as a dream Nordstrom store landscape, decked out with a custom handbag creation station, a chair massage area, and a catwalk where students (attendees? participants?) showcased their favorite new fashion. Students received free mani/pedis and clamored for photo ops with Karlie Kloss and Cocky the Gamecock.
Nordstrom also gifted $100 vouchers to over 2,000 graduating seniors from USC.
The publicity generated by the campaign drove over 300 million PR impressions. The breakdown of the numbers speaks for itself: 3.2 million views for the Nordstrom digital ad, 235k Snapchat filter uses, and press coverage from nearly a dozen national outlets, including Anderson Cooper, People Magazine, and US Weekly.