Men's Wearhouse launches tuxedo campaign for prom season

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Retailer Men's Wearhouse is conducting a viral campaign to promote tuxedo rentals during prom season. The effort encourages teenagers to sign up to be a “prom rep” for the chance to win a free tuxedo or a Chevrolet Camaro. The effort, launched at the end of last month, runs through July.

“We hope to get things going virally and remind people to rent their tux and hopefully they will get it from our stores,” said Matt Schow, VP of online marketing and e-commerce at Men's Wearhouse.

To become a “prom rep,” a consumer can visit mwtuxonline.com and give his or her e-mail address and mailing address. The data will then be entered into the Men's Wearhouse database.

Once a consumer signs up, he receives an e-mail confirmation with a password to manage his “prom rep” dashboard. A consumer can use the tool to keep track of his progress and see how many tuxes he has rented.

Men's Wearhouse also encourages consumers to share the effort virally by e-mail, posting the promotion to Facebook or printing out “prom rep” ID cards. Participants will receive a free rental if they can recruit 10 friends to rent tuxes.

Last year was the first time the annual campaign ran online. Men's Wearhouse launched the “virtual prom,” where users could make prom avatars and sign up to become a prom rep. The site was created by Propane Studio.

In 2009, the sign-up process began online but was completed with a phone call from a local store. This year, the company took the full experience online.

“Last year, the end of the funnel was old school compared to a relatively new, socially enabled front end,” said Schow. “This year we fixed this by converting the prom rep program to an online socially enabled program that could be distributed electronically.”

Schow would not say what percentage of the company's business comes from prom rentals. He disclosed that while they do not drive as many sales as weddings, proms are a significant portion of the company's business.

To promote the effort, Men's Wearhouse worked with digital agency 360i to run banner ads on sites such as Pandora, as well as mobile ads. In addition, the retailer is using direct mail, search and its corporate Web site to get the word out.

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