This annual high school rite of passage is prime time for many marketers. For products and services like dresses and formal wear, limos, flowers, hair care, personal care, jewelry, shoes, entertainment, party products, and photography or videography, the prom season is a prime marketing occasion. Last year, the average high school prom party-goer (or the parents) made more than $1,000 in prom-related purchases.
Fashion marketers watched reaction to Oscar-night styles to be ready for the dresses that might catch the fancy of high school girls shopping at local stores like Forever 21 and Sears. Prom Jams at local malls are already displaying the new prom styles, with celebrity appearances adding to the appeal of such special events.
Proms have become quite popular in the U.K., thanks in part to the influence of U.S. TV shows and movies (think High School Musical and Glee, for example). U.K. proms skew younger than U.S. proms, which changes the marketing approach, of course.
The feelings of prom time are such an integral part of U.S. culture that Audi based a 2013 Super Bowl commercial on the theme, aiming to connect with consumers on an emotional level.
Loren Angelo, general manager of brand marketing for Audi, explains: Audi is about making brave decisions. Prom is a significant point in
time when a lot of brave decisions are made. This story brings to life
one of our fantastic products, the Audi S6. It inspires this young man
who had one brave opportunity to build a lot of confidence and build a
lot of excitement and make some pretty brave decisions that night.