Downward Dude: Lululemon is Opening a Men’s Store in New York

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 25, 2014 01:15 PM

Women are still the dominant buyers of yogawear manufacturer Lululemon’s gear, but men are coming on so strong that the company is opening its first men’s-only store in an area that seems to be a hotspot for brands these days: New York's Soho district.

In its most recent quarterly report, the sale of men’s apparel at its stores rose 5 percent from the same period last year, Fortune reports. That comes on the heels of a 9 percent increase in the first quarter. Meanwhile, same-store sales dipped slightly in the first half of the year compared with the first half of 2013, while overall, the second quarter was better than expected.  

As Fortune points out, Americans doing yoga has gone up from 15.8 million in 2008 to 20.4 million in 2012, but only 18% of these yoga mat warriors are male. Of course, those who purchase Lululemon apparel aren’t required by law to do yoga in them so perhaps males have been attracted to the company for other reasons. Or perhaps it is simply Lulu’s female shoppers picking up a few things for their husbands and boyfriends.Continue reading...

Sports Illustrated Throws Caution to the Wind for 50th Anniversary Barbie Issue

Posted by Dale Buss on February 12, 2014 04:04 PM

In a brand collaboration that could be described as the "Anti-Dove" campaign, Barbie and Sports Illustrated are getting together to celebrate the 50th anniversary edition of the magazine's swimsuit issue. And not surprisingly, social media has been atwitter over the implications.

The half-century edition of Sports Illlustrated's biggest issue of each year will hit newsstands and the internet next week, and it presents Barbie as a doll-size version of some of the magazine's supermodels, clad in a new version of the black-and-white swimsuit the Mattel doll wore when she was introduced in 1959.

It's a surprising partnership, to be sure, starting with the the fact that Barbie is aimed (mostly) at girls and Sports Illustrated is aimed (mostly) at men, which raises uncomfortable questions about why they're getting together. (Yes, Barbie is for adult collectors, too—that's why there will be a limited edition Sports Illustrated Barbie at Target).

The co-branded special issue is launching with a campaign called "Unapologetic", as both brands' owners clearly anticipated the hullaballoo that would ensue when two icons of hyperphotogenic femininity got together to get even more in the faces of their long-time foes.Continue reading...

going mobile

Disney, MTV Test Mobile-First Premieres of New Shows

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 28, 2013 11:21 AM

Mobile is fast becoming the first screen for entertainment—at least for the younger, digitally-attuned set. And now two of the most popular TV brands targeting children and young adults are testing the waters by debuting new series on the smaller screen.

Disney Channel will premiere the first nine episodes of Sheriff Callie’s Wild West on its Watch Disney Junior mobile app and a related website on Nov. 24, followed by a traditional debut on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior in early 2014. “This is an entirely new approach for us,” Nancy Kanter, EVP/GM for Disney Junior Worldwide, told the New York Times. “We have been amazed at how quickly kids have embraced this new technology. We’re talking billions of minutes spent watching.”

MTV, skewing slightly older, is going mobile-first to debut its new series, Wait 'Til Next Year, a 12-episode docudrama about a losing football team, ahead of its on-ahir US TV debut on Nov. 1. "It will be fun to see if we can get them to come back and watch on television," commented Kristin Frank, MTV's EVP connected content, to AP.

Both moves comes as marketers will start receiving more data about mobile TV viewing, with Nielsen starting to get its arms around the effectiveness and reach of mobile video globally. With more than one billion Internet users worldwide, Nielsen projects "a $30 billion global advertising market" and estimates that 73 percent of U.S. adults already consumer online user-generated media.

If MTV and Disney Channel have their way, it won't all just be cat videos driving that mobile video adoption, particularly with more comprehensive measurement of mobile video consumption becoming mainstream.Continue reading...

what girls want

Dove Takes Real Beauty Campaign to Girls

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 18, 2012 10:23 AM

In a world that is constantly shoving the idea of a woman only being beautiful if she looks like Kate Upton or Kate Hudson or … well, whoever the latest aesthetic ideal is, it can be hard for a preteen girl to figure out how to own the fact that she’s beautiful, too, no matter how different her body is from the supermodel du jour.

Along with most of American society, Unilever’s Dove soap has girls becoming more anxious, instead of more confident. And rather than prey on that lack of confidence by offering beauty "solutions" and use that info to their marketing advantage, Dove is actually trying to get at the root of the problem and boost girls' confidence and self-esteem.

For three years, Dove has been hosting events for preteen girls across the globe to help them feel better about themselves, according to The aim is to reach 15 million young women globally by 2015, thanks to Dove's Self-Esteem Fund, with an empowering message that takes the brand's highly praised Real Beauty campaign to a critical age.Continue reading...

what girls want

FashionPlaytes: A Fashion Studio of Her Own, Just for Girls

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 18, 2012 11:04 AM

The tween girl market wields unprecedented economic sway, social influence and digital aptitude. Why do you think Cynthia Rowley's latest brand collaboration is with JCPenney for a tween clothing line? FashionPlaytes, a digital design site aimed at tween girls, is hoping to inspire the next Rowley by giving her a virtual studio, showroom and sales channel to call her own.

The statistics alone speak to the clout of tween girls. According to NPD Group, 73% of girls ages six to eight go online an average of three hours per week, while 92% of girls between nine and 12 are online an average of five hours weekly. And it's not behind their parents backs (well, for the most part), either: “iGen’s parents belong to Generation X, who act as the invisible hand empowering and guiding the $150 billion a year that Tweens influence. The Gen X parent is raising a new type of young consumer that has more independence and financial prowess than any generation of kiddos to toddle along before them.”

Given the role that moms, in particular, take in influencing their daughter's choices — Rowley's dreampop JCP collection was inspired by her own daughters — it took an enterpreneurial mom to see the opportunity that the web provides to create a fashion-centric site for her own fashion-crazed offspring.

Sarah McIlroy, mother of two daughters and a son, started FashionPlaytes after her then five-year-old daughter asked to design her own clothes. McIlroy liked the idea but lacked the technical design skills, so she founded a site for tween girls to dream up their own clothing ideas and have them produced and shipped right to their door, from their own digital design studio.Continue reading...

brand extensions

Lululemon's Little Sister Tests the Waters in America

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 13, 2012 10:05 AM

Canada's upscale yogathletic brand lululemon has a younger sibling: ivivva athletica, a dance-inspired activewear label for girls and teens that has been dipping a pointed toe in the tween/teen market with a modest debut in Canada and a co-branded line with Disney.

The younger brand has been available in lululemon’s hometown of Vancouver and in Calgary, and this summer has been quietly slipping south of the border to the US via showrooms (not full-blown stores) to test the waters in Bellevue and Seattle, WA, plus Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

“A note to all of our amazing + loyal ivivva girls: an ivivva SHOWROOM is a little different from an ivivva STORE," a blog post explains. "A showroom is a small space that we open in new cities to show a few pieces of our product line. It is the perfect place to go to get decked out in all of your core essentials and try on all of our sizes so you know what size to order in all of the crazy colours online! And, if you want more, you can always purchase online using the iPads in our showrooms.”

Parent company lululemon athletica, of course, is the yoga-inspired athletic apparel lifestyle brand that, while a little overreaching to some observers, has certainly raised the barre in technical fabrics and functional designs, not to mention in convincing women to pay a premium for yoga pants. But will lululemon moms stretch their wallets as wide for their dance-, track- and gymnastics-obsessed daughters?Continue reading...

what girls want

Adidas NEO Seeks $1.3 Billion From Teen Girls with David Beckham's Help

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 15, 2012 02:05 PM

Adidas already pulls in billions upon billions in revenue each year. So what do they want? A little more, of course.

The 88-year-old German shoe and apparel giant is planning to target “teenage girls more influenced by music and fashion than sports” and expand its three-year-old NEO fashion outlets and “exploiting social-media platforms including Facebook and Twitter,” Bloomberg reports.

The hope is that the world’s 14 to 19-year-olds (or their parents, in many cases) will cough up enough cash in that competitive marketplace to net Adidas another $1.3 billion by 2015. Some of NEO's marketing tactics include tapping into teens' love of music, with a love song digital promotion for Valentine's Day, and convincing David Beckham (who has a longtime endorsement deal with Adidas) to put his name on a special collection for NEO.

“Teenage girls are a target group we didn't really reach so far, whereas boys are closer connected to Adidas via sports,” said Erich Stamminger, the board member responsible for global brands. “For girls, you need a bit more of fashion influence and that's exactly what we are offering with NEO.”Continue reading...

what girls want

Sweety High: Social Entertainment for Tweens with Dreams

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 2, 2011 10:59 AM

Move over, Sweet Valley High — make room for Sweety High, an unrelated creativity-powered social game for tween girls that just moved out of beta.

Original programming for the branded entertainment-meets-social-networking portal includes SweetBeatTV, which features Sweety High users as correspondents covering pop culture events, and Food Star, a cooking show featuring community participants and teen celebrities.

The site aims to offer a tween-friendly and safe incentive-based environment promoting leadership and fair play while engaging with the real world, real-time. Game play is built around quests and achievements that reward self-expression and creativity and virtual currency is applied to prizes and unique opportunities for young girls with big aspirations.

Co-founded by writer/producer Frank Simonetti and Veronica Zelle, a music video producer who has worked with Madonna, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, Sweety High is a closed community, compliant with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and protected against cyber bullying and oversharing of personal data.Continue reading...

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