Economic anxieties fuel Staples back-to-school campaign


Staples is launching its back-to-school advertising and marketing campaign by empathizing with the economic anxieties of the American shopper. The new 15-second TV spots, via McCann Erickson, New York, use humor to establish Staples’ low-price position and reinforce the brand equity of the iconic Staples Easy Button. The spots begin airing nationally 7/27. Targeting both moms and teens, Staples is speaking honestly and realistically to customers faced with rising prices of jeans, groceries and gasoline.

In the commercial titled “Gas,” a woman at a service station is told it will cost her $92.50 to fill up her tank. The woman reaches into her glove compartment, takes out the Easy Button and presses it. “How much is it now?” she asks. The dumbfounded gas station attendant says, “It’s still $92.50.”

She smiles and keeps pressing the button when an off-camera voice says, “The Easy Button can save you lots of money, but only at Staples.” Another version of the commercial tells customers that “Everything they need for back to school at great prices” is at Staples. The overall message from Staples: It can’t do anything about rising gas or grocery prices, but the Easy Button can make back-to-school shopping easy and more affordable for parents.

Staples is using in-store, online, direct marketing and PR to further drive messaging. In addition, Staples is asking teens to make a difference this summer. Now through August 31st, Staples and, with the help from pop star and American Idol winner, Jordin Sparks, are encouraging teens to collect school supplies and drop them off at their nearest Staples store as part of its Do Something 101 campaign. Staples customers can also take part in the summer activities by adding extra school supplies to their shopping cart to drop in the collection bin or by donating $2 in any Staples store, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting local teens in need.