HowTo . . . Mall Tours

They aren’t just for boy bands anymore. Using a mall tour to get big brand to their audience is no big secret. Well, maybe it is.

Teen-centric media planner and marketer YouthStream Media Networks was hired earlier this year to help raise awareness of the Procter & Gamble brand Secret antiperspirant and to promote the brand’s four-year old “Secret to Self-Esteem” program. The program was designed by Secret and Dr. Anne Kearney-Cooke, a consultant and psychologist, to help teenage girls generate self-esteem, learn about themselves, and ultimately build a positive association with the Secret brand.

In February, YouthStream arranged a six-week, six-city tour of U.S. shopping malls. The tour consisted of events that featured a rock-climbing wall, an “expression wall” where girls wrote inspirational messages, a live DJ, photo stations, Tae Kwan Do instruction, and other activities designed to foster confidence and strength. Fliers were passed out around the area to promote the event. Free samples were also distributed before, during, and after the event and feedback was collected from the teens when they signed up for the events. According to YouthStream’s director of event marketing, Patrick West, the event resulted in 400,000 distributed samples, with 5,000 to 10,000 teen girls attending per weekend, attendees spending several minutes to several hours at the event, and “enthusiastic feedback all around.”

Any marketer that wants to set up such events can of course go through West and his company. West stressed that he has the staff to get the job done, as well as preferred rates at certain malls and other venues. Here are some things West says to consider when setting up a mall tour: Staff — Know how many people are needed in the office and on the road (training time, travel, etc.). Equipment — Evaluate your equipment requirements. If you rent a Ryder truck, it may not have to be an 18-wheeler with signage. Setup can range from lighting, PA, and a stage to someone with a mega phone at a sample stand. Cost — Access fees for getting into a mall can vary. On a weekend it can cost $1,500 to have a couple of people at a stand, or up to $15K to have a larger space. If you are on the road for a month, costs can total $40K to $150K depending on what you do. Location — Call the marketing manager from a particular mall or even the property owners, which are generally very receptive to such events. Here is selection of some of the major property owners to contact for mall tours: Chelsea Property Group, Inc., (; General Growth Properties (GGP),; and Simon Property Group, Inc.,

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