Kendra Scott has been one of the most called-out brands on RushTok for the last several college sorority recruitment seasons — earning itself a prime placement in countless outfit-of-the-day videos from prospective students and creating an impressive impact on the brand’s social media engagement.
In celebration of the ongoing love on social media coming from the Gen Z audience, Kendra Scott has announced its “Hey, Elisa! An Icon Goes on Tour” campaign aimed at further engaging with students on campus. The multicampus mobile pop-up tour will showcase the Elisa pendant necklace, one of the most popular pieces worn by college students on RushTok, during the first few weeks of the semester.
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To kick off the tour, Kendra Scott will mirror its loyal Gen Z followers with its own social media post — the brand’s first augmented reality video. The video, which can be seen on Instagram and TikTok, aims to build the excitement of the upcoming campus visits and features three Elisa pendant necklaces blown up to hang from the Scottish Rite dormitory at the University of Texas at Austin. The dorm is known for encouraging undergraduate college women to explore, grow and forge lifelong friendships.
Like the AR video, the formal tour is also a first for the brand, which Michelle Peterson, chief marketing officer at Kendra Scott, tells WWD is always looking for new ways to meet its customers where they are in innovative ways. During football season, which Peterson says has built similar organic response for the brand as students show off game day looks on social media, the brand’s stores in areas like College Station, Texas, and Gainesville, Florida, have celebrated the success with smaller-scale activations and custom window displays.
“At Kendra Scott, we’re always listening to our customers,” Peterson said. “We saw trends and reactions to our brand on social media, with our collegiate ambassadors (known as Kendra Scott Gems), and more specifically, we saw the Elisa style picking up traction organically. In short, we saw Gen Z wearing Elisa over and over again, and knew we needed to act.”
Notably, the Elisa pendant necklace, a style that originally launched in Kendra Scott’s spring 2014 collection as a scaled-down version of the Danielle and Elle silhouettes, has more than 300 possible colorways. Peterson tells WWD that while the style has been a bestseller from the beginning, this is the first marketing campaign specific to the Elisa silhouette.
“When we think about our Gen Z customer and their love of self-expression, the Elisa is the embodiment that, offering over 300 colorways to choose from,” Peterson said. “Kendra Scott encourages personal style and expression, so there is something for everyone. You can stack and layer your favorite classics with your school colors or add on an engraved pendant that may spark an interesting conversation. The possibilities are endless, which really helped to position Kendra Scott as the destination for Gen Z — we’re all about self-expression and personalization, which we know is something this audience craves.”
During the tour, students will be invited to participate in an immersive experience, which brings the Elisa silhouette to life including a quiz to find out which Elisa best represents their style. While aligning with an Elisa style attendees will also be invited to enjoy complimentary custom iced beverages from local coffee shops inspired by the pendant’s colors and take selfies with interactive photo moments which include a custom-designed concave mirror in the shape of the Elisa silhouette and life-sized Elisa characters.
The first 250 students who participate in the quiz will receive “their” Elisa pendant necklace along with branded swag including reusable tote bags and straws, koozies and stickers. All swag has been customized for each location to coordinate with the city and school colors. Importantly, swag items were chosen intentionally after conversations with Kendra Scott Gems.
Additionally, Kendra Scott will be donating 250 pieces of jewelry to each campus’ professional closet to help students prepare for interviews and jobs, in an ongoing commitment to empowering women and youth.
“Philanthropy is a core pillar of the Kendra Scott brand,” Peterson said. “Doing good has been built into the brand’s business model from the very beginning, having donated over $50 million to local, national and international causes, with funds supporting women and youth in the areas of health and wellness, education and entrepreneurship, and empowerment. The donation of Kendra Scott jewelry to each campus’ local professional closet ties back to this commitment as a way to instill confidence in these young women as they prepare for the next phase of their lives post-graduation.”
Kendra Scott’s “Hey, Elisa!” tour has announced six stops at college campuses including the University of Texas in Austin (Aug. 23); Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Aug. 24); the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Aug. 29), and the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia (Aug. 31). More dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
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