retail

New BTS Moves From Office Depot, Staples, Best Buy

Office-Depot-ABoth Staples, Office Depot and Best Buy are introducing new efforts aimed at back-to-school shoppers, hoping to spark a little high-tech product lust in the midst of the summer doldrums.

Office Depot, tempting parents with $329 laptops and kids with Monster headphones, has just kicked off the latest in its “Depot Time” campaign. It back-to-school campaign stars comedian Nick (“America’s Got Talent”) Cannon, and urges kids to “Be Ncredible” this school year. (Parents, doubtless, are grateful for spellcheck.) The two TV spots, created by Zimmerman Advertising, show Cannon interacting with Rachel, a helpful Office Depot associate. Spots are running on “America’s Got Talent,” and also promote Cannon’s branded Monster headphones.

The Boca Raton, Fla.-based retailer is also flexing its charitable muscle, as the official sponsor of the 5th Annual Take Action Leadership Campaign, an event to help students in the Los Angeles Unified School District, with efforts aimed at reducing violence, bolstering attendance, improving grades and better preparing kids for work and college.

Staples, touting $100 off many printers, is also stepping up its cause-related game, working with singer/actress Bella Thorne and DoSomething.org. Now in its fifth year, Staples is again stuffing backpacks for needy California students with $125,000 worth of school supplies, enlisting the likes of Harry Shum, Jr., Kendall and Kylie Jenner, JoJo, and Kat Graham to help.

Since 2008, the Framingham, Mass.-based company says it has raised $2 million for hundreds of thousands of students, with such past celebrity supporters as Jordin Sparks, Ciara, Nikki Reed and the cast of Pretty Little Liars.

And Best Buy, also making noise about its $329 laptops, recently unveiled its own back-to-school feel-good effort, a College Innovator Fund, designed to “find, mentor and advance the next big ideas in the areas of technology, sustainability, education or a related field. Entrants can submit a video via Facebook for a chance to win $100,000 in startup money.

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