"We have no social networking site of our own except for a page on Facebook," says JC Penney spokesperson Kate Parkhouse. "Kaboodle is great for us because they are one of the fastest-growing online shopping communities."
The digital advertising program for the back-to-school shopping season features a comprehensive guide called "Back-to-School Central" on Kaboodle. The guide will feature more than 500 products, many of which will be provided JC Penney.
Premier media partner Seventeen magazine will contribute content to the section. Back-to-School Central will also be promoted on other Hearst Teen Group media properties, including CosmoGIRL!, Teen, and eSPIN.com.
Parkhouse, who says Penney likes to "fish where the fish are," is excited to be able to place the brand where teens are likely to be - online. "We are always looking for unique, engaging ways to get to that target market," she says. "And this is where our customers are."
Penney is ramping up different ways to do marketing, she says, although it still considers traditional efforts worthwhile. "Our TV campaign launched this past weekend," says Parkhouse. "We're doing a little print and, still, direct mail. But we're looking for different ways, especially when it comes to teens."
The newly designed section on the Kaboodle site comes with new functionality created specifically to engage teen shoppers as they search for back-to-school fashion and supplies, per the company. For example, Kaboodle's new Styleboard feature easily allows shoppers to create entire outfits based on their specific fashion tastes and to share those creations with others.
Back-to-School Central is designed to integrate JCPenney and its products into the Kaboodle site and build awareness within the Kaboodle community as well as throughout the Hearst Teen Group online network.