Best Buy touts innovation in back-to-school campaign

August 14, 2012  |  Chris Powell  |  Comments

Best Buy Canada has launched a back-to-school campaign that presents the humble college dorm room – filled with its technology, of course – as the possible birthplace of the next big idea.

Developed by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the English and French-language “Future Innovators” campaign promotes the electronics retailer’s two primary sales drivers for the back-to-school period: smartphones and laptops.

Media duties were overseen by Media Experts

Back-to-school is now second only to the December holidays as Best Buy’s biggest sales period said director of marketing Aliya Kara, particularly since today’s students tend to utilize a “toolkit” that contains everything from a laptop to a tablet, smartphone and gaming console.

“They’re highly connected students these days, so the relevance of our brand and what we sell has grown significantly,” said Kara.

A series of TV spots and online videos have been divided into two segments: “Dorm Room Innovators” and “Future Innovators.” The former features Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley talking about the importance of mobile, and Jessica Jackley talking about how she created the micro-lending platform on a laptop purchased for her by her parents. A longer version of the Crowley spot will also run on YouTube and as pre-roll video, said Kara.

The latter category is dedicated to a group that Best Buy director of marketing Aliya Kara called “tomorrow’s pop culture pioneers” – young students who are creating potentially groundbreaking applications right now. None of the people in the spots are actors, said Kara.

The campaign is targeting students – particularly those entering the first year of college/university – and their parents, said Kara. “The aim is to tap into that potential parents see in their kids and kids see in themselves at a time of uncertainty, and reinforce the fact that anything is possible,” she said.

A 30-second brand spot, “Future Innovators,” shows how young students are using technology to create game-changing applications. All of the spots end with a Best Buy representative stating “When the technology’s right, anything can happen.”

The retailer is also using a YouTube takeover, online display ads and paid search to deliver the message.

The company launched a social media component inviting people to engage in discussion about the idea of innovation via Facebook and Twitter. The company is giving away more than $10,000 in Best Buy gift cards to some of the participants.

The campaign runs through Sept. 9.

While Best Buy is in the midst of closing under-performing stores in the U.S., Kara said the brand is “very healthy” in Canada. Best Buy currently operates 77 big box locations across the country, with two more slated to open before the end of the year.

The company is also expanding its primarily mall-based Best Buy Mobile business – which currently has 41 locations – and its Best Buy Express locations in airports and on university campuses. “The brand is growing in all sorts of different dimensions,” said Kara.

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