Best Buy thanks teachers in back-to-school campaign

Who: Best Buy, with Union for creative, Fela for production (directed by Jackson Tisi), post-production by Married to Giants, Wingman VFX, The Vanity and SNDWRX. Media Experts for media.

What: “What will tech help us learn this year?” A back-to-school ad that shows how teachers have used tech to help teach their students during the past year.

When & Where: The ad is running on broadcast and online from July 26 to Sept. 12.

Why: While most back-to-school ads focus on kids and their parents, Best Buy opted to lead with teachers in an ad showing how teachers of all kinds have played an invaluable role in the past year, and how technology has helped them along the way.

“Teachers have had to really rise to the occasion,” said Adam Thur, executive creative director at Union. “We wanted to highlight that, and all the smart, innovative ways they leaned on tech to change course.”

How: This is one of those ads about Covid without saying it’s about Covid: There are no masks or direct mention of the pandemic, but lots of smiles accompanying a clear message. “Hey teachers, it seems like things are always changing. But you find new ways to teach through it all,” says the VO that opens the ad.

The rest of the spot shows the ways that various teachers have used tech to deliver their lessons, regardless of the circumstances: From a schoolteacher in a classroom, to a music teacher, dance teacher, and parents who found themselves acting like teachers while their kids were homeschooling.

The ad ends with a thank you to teachers for showing how “with the right tools there is nothing we can’t do,” accompanied by a super that delivers a positive spin on the unique circumstances: “What will tech help us learn this year?”

And we quote: “This is really an ode to the teachers. We didn’t want to take credit for all the incredible work they’ve done. Instead, we’re celebrating them and supporting them with technology they need to help us all keep learning.”—James Pelletier, director of marketing, Best Buy Canada.

David Brown