Staples puts price at the heart of back-to-school campaign

Going up against Walmart and Target with its biggest campaign of the year

School is officially back in session at Staples, with the launch of its “Back to School” campaign, the retailer’s biggest marketing push of the year.

Developed in partnership with the brand’s creative agency of record, DentsuBos, the national campaign (targeting moms 25-54) takes its cue from the brand’s tagline “Make more happen for less.”

The brand had never been pushed a pricing message across mass media until now, said Sandy Salmon, director of advertising at Staples Canada.

“We really wanted to branch out and develop an integrated campaign that does differentiate us from the competition,” Salmon said. “We were trying to shift price perception more than anything. So it’s all about making more happen for less, and we wanted to let our customers know that our prices are really, really great. I think everyone knows we have everything you need for back to school, but we wanted people to know how low our prices really are and always have been, and really needed to shift the price perception”

Elements of the “Back-to-School” campaign include radio, e-mail marketing, online and digital, social media, in-store POS, flyers and micro-sites.

Two TV spots are currently airing on both conventional and specialty channels. A crowd-sourced ad called the “Shopping Cart Dance” features Staples’ associates and customers, and was built on the brand’s “Make 15 Seconds of Fame Happen,” a social media contest it launched in June.

Community and public relations activations such as the Annual Staples School Supply Drive (which works to provide students in need with supplies) and a partnership with the Breakfast Club of Canada are also running, along with blogger and media events in Toronto and Montreal.

Staples teamed up with singer Katy Perry for the Annual School Supply Drive program. A PSA with Perry promoting the program is running nationwide.

Staples worked with Aegis Deep Blue on the media buy and with Crucial Interactive for specialty creative and media. Torchia Communications is handling PR.

The “Back to School” campaign launched Monday and will run for six weeks.

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