Top 3 back-to-school efforts

It's not only kids that dread back to school. Some agency types do too. Seems the back-to-school fare hardly inspires study. But we've managed to unearth a crop - from TV to online to promotional - that are getting good grades.

It’s not only kids that dread back to school. Some agency types do too. Seems the back-to-school fare hardly inspires study. But we’ve managed to unearth a crop – from TV to online to promotional – that are getting good grades.

Back to school as a slasher film

Finding a decent back-to-school ad is harder than finding Osama. In Canada, it’s difficult to justify the production dollars. [So] my favourite comes from Old Navy in the U.S. I remember as a kid, the feeling I would get in the pit of my stomach with the first mention of school. Old Navy taps into that insight. In one spot [created by Deutsch/LA] a young couple cuddle by a campfire, in a typical slasher movie setting. They hear a sound and look up in horror. It isn’t Jason; it’s a school chair! In the other, a ‘shark’ in the water turns out to be a locker. Perfect.

Al Scornaienchi, president/CEO, Axmith McIntyre Wicht, Toronto

A welcome distraction from books

While not explicitly ‘Back to School,’ I like Dell Canada’s ‘What’s that Track?’ online promotion by Ottawa-based Launchfire Interactive for its would-be iPod killer, the Dell DJ MP3 player. Demographically, it’s bang-on. I got into playing [it] with Napster in a supporting role. You have to guess the names of songs or artists from different genres. The quicker your response, the more points you earn towards prizes, including a Ford Mustang.

Dean Maruna, VP/CD, FCB Direct, Toronto

Sporting back to school blues

Favourite Songs. Favourite Jeans. The Perfect Fit. I love anything where the consumer wins no matter what. This promotion [created in-house] has ‘The Perfect Fit’ on every possible level. It takes the hottest property on the planet, itunes, pulls me into the store to try on a pair of jeans and whether I buy them or not, I walk out with a free tune. If there were a Holy Grail of Promotions this one would be fairly close to it. And Rick James singing ‘You & I’ in the TV spot? Yeah, Okay! [The spot was created by Laird+Partners, New York.]

Edward Rajewski, partner, SuperMarket, Toronto