Best Buy Canada redefines “students” for back-to-school campaign

Who: Best Buy Canada, with Union, Soft Citizen, Married to Giants, Wingman VFX and SNDWRX. Media by Media Experts.

What: A back-to-school campaign that broadens the definition of both “school” and “students.” Described as a “completely new approach” for the electronics retailer, “Back to Schools” underscores how tech addresses new COVID realities like online learning, while also helping homebound Canadians who are learning new skills—like making that lockdown staple, sourdough bread.

When & Where: The campaign launched July 30 with TV, pre-roll and social.

Why: Back to school is always an important sales period for Best Buy, but it’s even more so this year when so many people will need technology for online learning.

In a recent survey of more than 1,000 Canadians conducted by online cash back company (formerly Ebates), 69% of respondents said they might have to purchase new technology to be prepared for the upcoming school year. Computers/laptops, microphones or headphones, tablets, printers or scanners were among the most sought-after items.

How: The spot showcases the latest technology available at Best Buy, including the Microsoft Surface 3, Bose headphones, the Asus ZenBook Flip and the Garmin Venu smartwatch.

So far so normal. But in what has become an increasingly common tactic during COVID, the spot was shot remotely, with actors using smartphones and natural lighting to capture the footage.

The spot also features a heavy emphasis on, addressing potential consumer reluctance about shopping in-store this year because of COVID. To underscore that message, the closing message is “quickly, safely and confidently.”

And we quote: “The demand for consumer technology this year has demonstrated just how much we all rely on it. It was fitting that we would shoot this commercial using smart phones—it’s technology that we sell, that we’re all familiar with and that plays such a huge role in everything that we do these days.” — James Pelletier, director of marketing, Best Buy Canada.

Chris Powell