Best Buy takes customers to school

The tech retailer is targeting students with its latest effort, which leverages Instagram and Pinterest and invites them to complete "assignments" and win prizes.

Best Buy is gearing up for the return to school with a new campaign, targeted at both students and parents, that aims to position it as Canada’s top back-to-school “techfitter.”

With creative by Union and media by Media Experts, the campaign is heavily focused on TV, with buys on conventional and specialty channels like CTV and Global around shows like Masterchef and Big Brother, as well as digital, where the retailer has invested in homepage takeovers of sites including AOL, MSN, Yahoo and La Presse.

The campaign is supported by a broad social media initiative, which challenges students to complete “assignments” for chances to win technology and gift cards. Using Instagram, students can create videos in Best Buy stores of all the tech they need for a chance to win, or snap a picture of tech they need replaced to get product recommendations, using the hashtag #BBYSocialStudies. On Pinterest, students have an opportunity to “Pimp their dorms” by pinning all the tech they need.

Meanwhile, on Facebook and Twitter, the retailer will be hosting live Q&A sessions with its Geek Squad members to help students find the right tech for them.

Aliya Reynolds, director of brand marketing, Best Buy Canada, says that the retailer chose to advertise around shows like Masterchef and Big Brother because both have heavy co-viewing, offering a chance to reach both of its targets at once.

She says that this is the first time Best Buy has targeted students so heavily with its back-to-school campaign because students have become bigger influencers in the decision-making process. She adds that it’s also the first time the retailer has leveraged Instagram and Pinterest for its back-to-school campaign, noting that Best Buy wanted to reach out to students through these channels in a way that was authentic to how students are using them.

Reynolds says the goal for this campaign was to set Best Buy apart from the competition as the place to go to for impartial, non-commissioned tech guidance.

The campaign will run until the second week of September.