Best Buy’s staff take their work home with them

The retailer emphasizes the knowledge of its Blue Shirt advisors in a new campaign to help guide customers through complicated choices.

Best Buy’s newest campaign is demonstrating that its staff is not just trained with the tech they sell, but use it in their personal lives, as it looks to focus on knowledge and advice over product selection.

The newest spot from the retailer features its recognizeable “Blue Shirt” advisors using tablets, smart fridges and smart lights both in store with customers in their own homes. It ends under the tagline “we know tech because we live it.”

James Pelletier, director of marketing for Best Buy Canada, tells strategy that the integrated campaign aims to make consumers more confident about their purchases. He says that while there’s broad love for new technology among consumers, choosing the right brand or product can feel daunting, which is why it is emphasizing that Best Buy’s team members act as “knowledgeable friends and can help cut through the confusion.”

According to Pelletier, the target audience broadly encompasses both a mass audience, as well as tech enthusiasts keen on “keeping up with the Joneses” but might lack the technical knowledge required to get the most from their purchases.

Last year, the brand’s fall campaign featured a child decking out his treehouse in the latest smart home tech, and a previous Best Buy holiday campaign showed that people’s love for giving and receiving gifts transcends age groups. In those campaigns, the products themselves played a secondary role to the emotions and broader benefits that come with them, an approach Best Buy is taking even further now to better articulate the staff interactions. Best Buy Canada continues to compete against national and regional banners, as well as online retailers, which often have comparable selections of the latest and most sought-after products, so Pelletier says putting the focus on its “real people” offering advice is a competitive advantage.

He adds that the brand has been using a “no dialogue” construct in its creative for some time, leaning more heavily on visual storytelling as a way to better connect with its audience. In this case, it also makes interactions between customers and staff more front-and-centre than the products and brands themselves. Also, Pelletier says, this kind of approach makes the spot an easy convert to a French language audience.

Best Buy has been betting its physical presence will work to its advantage, working to update its stores to create “sensorial spaces” where the life-enhancing aspects of new technology can be demonstrated for customers by staff. The brand has also made considerable investments in its “Geek Squad,” a dedicated support team that helps with in-home installation and repairs, offered as a premium membership service.

Another campaign objective is to boost brand awareness as the holiday season approaches, which, Pelletier says, is consistent with past fall campaigns. The holiday season may be especially important for all electronics retailers this year: according to Statistics Canada data, sales growth in the category is down 9.3% for 2019 through July, part of trends seen across categories in Canada as retail sales growth continues to look sluggish.

The campaign, which was created by long-time agency partner Union, launched Sept. 30, and includes TV, pre-roll, and social. Pelletier says ad spend on the campaign is similar to previous fall campaigns. Media planning and purchasing handled by Media Experts and Best Buy Canada’s internal digital team.