For Kmart, a unit of Sears Holdings Corp., “First Day,” began as a four-page pitch in 2009 from “Gossip Girl” executive producer Alloy Entertainment. For the current season, the show’s second, Alloy pitched a story about a girl who wants to go to the prom with her crush.
The retailer liked the idea, but wanted to use it to hawk its line of back-to-school clothes. So it suggested changing the focus to a fall dance, rather than a prom.
In rounds of back-and-forth story development, Kmart also asked Alloy to shape each of the four main characters to reflect several clothing brands that Kmart wanted to push.
The protagonist, for instance, was written to embody the Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez brand.
Kmart also pushed Alloy to change the protagonist’s original name, Bree, to which it thought its customers wouldn’t relate. They settled on the name Rosie instead.