Cannes Lions

CHEWBACCA MOM: KOHL'S HARNESSES A VIRAL PHENOMENON

HUGE, New York / KOHL'S / 2017

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Overview

Description

When the “Chewbacca Mom” video started to get attention in March 2016, the question was not SHOULD Kohl’s respond, but HOW should Kohl’s respond, and how quickly could it be done.

The team immediately huddled and recognized a key insight in her video.

Candace said, “this is not for Duncan, not for Cadence…” which was a clear signal to the team that her purchase was uncharacteristic of her usual buying habits and beliefs. Hence, the creative idea revealed itself: Surprise Candace at her home with Chewbacca masks for the rest of the family. Thank her for her support. Capture the real moment with a real mom on video and then tell the world.

Execution

Within 24 hours of Candace’s initial release of her “It’s the simple joys in life….” video, Kohl’s representatives surprised their unexpected spokeswoman and her family at home with Chewbacca masks for the whole family, Star Wars toys, and Kohl’s gift cards. The team invited a camera crew to capture the family’s excitement and invited local news media to cover the event.

In real-time, the team turned out photos of the event onto FB and Twitter. And in less than a day, “The Happiest Chewbacca” video went live on Facebook, Twitter and countless local and national news outlets. Paid media was optimized and elevated at times of strongest performance, amplifying Kohl’s reach all in the course of a few days.

Outcome

Kohl’s found itself at the center of a cultural phenomenon with a two-way conversation, a sold out Chewbacca mask, and a huge increase in store sales. Combined efforts from PR, organic & paid media for “The Happiest Chewbacca” helped achieve over 2.7 billion social impressions, 32 million views on social media, 1 million new Kohl’s followers, and most impressively, a 500% online sales increase.

The response put us at the center of the viral conversation, increased positive sentiment for Kohl’s, turned views into revenue and brought modern families together to laugh like Wookiees and embrace “the simple joys in life.”

In total, the response reached over 2.7 billion—new and loyal Kohl’s shoppers alike.

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