Sears Casts Disney’s Gomez in Back-to-School Push

Actress/singer Selena Gomez, the 17-year-old star of the Disney Channel TV series Wizards of Waverly Place, is featured in a Sears back-to-school campaign that invites kids to participate in the “Sears Air Band Casting Call” for a chance to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards this fall.

The campaign, from Young & Rubicam, Chicago, includes TV, online, direct and radio advertising, and calls on kids to take part in everything from selecting a band member to creating a logo for the “air band.”

“For teens and tweens, fashion says a lot about their personalities – and back-to-school is a perfect time for them to define their look,” said Melanie Henson, chief marketing officer, Sears Apparel. “Sears has the style and a wide assortment for any personality at an affordable value that makes fashion attainable for families when they start their back-to-school shopping.” (Sears spent $410 million in measured media last year, per Nielsen.)

A 30-second commercial will break on August 3, showing the teen star approach a group of students in a school hallway and ask whether they are “hip-hoppers, skaters or rockers.” With unanimous “rockers” replies, the scene shifts to a rooftop concert where the kids play in a band wearing Sears apparel.

The spot, one of four in the campaign that showcases “rock,” “pop,” “skater” and “hip hop” fashions, sends viewers to The site features weekly webisodes and allows visitors to play games and participate in the contest by uploading their audition videos. Kids eight to 16 can participate through August 11 and can also audition in person by visiting malls in 10 select cities on August 1.

The winner will perform on the VMAs on September 13. All choices voted on by the kids, including what their favorite fashion/music genres are, will be revealed during the pre-show.

Nielsen Business Media