Macy’s Opens $25k Back to School A Cappella Competition


Macy’s “wants you back” – to school shopping, that is. In an effort to stay at the forefront of back to school shopper’s minds, Macy’s is holding a contest for schools to have a chance at winning $25,000 by submitting an a cappella version of The Jackson 5’s “I want you back”.

The nationwide challenge is open to all schools from elementary to college levels. Entries are being accepted starting in September and three schools will be chosen as winners, writes Ashley Rodriguez for Ad Age.

The contest is a continuation of the chain capitalizing on a pop culture phenomenon to help promote back to school shopping.  This year the challenge is an a cappella competition thanks to the genre’s popularity which stems from reality TV shows, pop groups and the recent release of Pitch Perfect 2.

“For the second year in a row, we are hosting our back-to-school marketing activation on YouTube to reach our target audience where they spend their time,” said a Macy’s spokeswoman in an email. “Following the success of last year’s lip dub competition, where we received creative submissions from around the country, we wanted to offer a new opportunity to participate in a BTS contest and potentially win money for their school.”

The video must be one to three minutes in length and include at least three participants comprised of students and faculty. The entry must be filmed on school property and must be an a cappella rendition of the song –meaning the song must be performed only using voices, beat boxing, and sounds using body parts like clapping or snapping.

The videos will be judged on performance, musicality, and execution. Entries are to be uploaded to Macy’s Youtube channel, where the winner will also be revealed in early November.

“The back-to-school season is one of our favorite times of the year at Macy’s, and we’re pleased to support and celebrate music in schools with Macy’s All-School A Cappella Challenge,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “We’re encouraging students to get creative and have fun, and look forward to seeing all the great submissions from the wonderful talent across the country.”

The popular a cappella group Pentatonix will serve as the contest’s ambassadors. They are currently the stars of the Macy’s TV spot to promote the contest and will be a part of the judging process, reports Broadway World.

Macy’s is also promoting popular fashion trends in stores and online utilizing hash tags like #mydormifystyle to target college students.