Best Buy, Office Depot Roll Out Back-To-School Ads

With tech accounting for an increasingly big chunk of families’ back-to-school spending, both Best Buy and Office Depot are hoping to woo parents with new marketing campaigns.

Best Buy is going for funny, using actor Adam (“Modern Family”) Devine in a campaign aimed at the college-bound crowd. Called “How To College” and “Intel,” the spots spoof both real problems (like using noise-canceling headphones to tune out Homeschool Hailey) and the not-so-real, like bribing an ethics professor with a new smartphone.

The campaign, from Grey New York, includes video, digital and social media, as well as the "Adamojis," which are scheduled to be available at the App store later this week.



Office Depot is going a more classic route, targeting parents who can’t wait to get their summer-squandering spawn back to the books. Themed “Get back to great,” the McCann Erickson-created campaign shows parents gleefully interrupting kids who have spent the summer texting, binge-watching, bouncing off walls or eating burritos.

Like Best Buy, Office Depot is pushing the Dell Inspiron Series 2-in-1, a combo laptop and tablet, as well as laptop bundles.

While the National Retail Federation has yet to release its full back-to-school forecast, it recently revealed a few preliminary insights, which could be good news for Office Depot, Best Buy and other retailers aiming at the college crowd. It reports that 37% of parents of college kids say they intend to spend somewhat more than they did last year. A year ago at this time, only 35% expressed that sentiment. 

And the International Council of Shopping Centers forecast is far more bullish, reporting that 78% of all parents intend on increasing spending this year, with some 47% of the BTS budget—about $280—going toward tech purchases.

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