Best Buy broadens the definition of ‘teacher’ for back-to-school

To show the role its tech plays in enriching peoples' lives, the retailer shows how everyone from parents to online content creators help people learn.


The past year was one of adaptation as the pandemic changed everything – including how people learn and what they are learning about.

Best Buy has tapped into that reality with its new campaign for the back-to-school season: a celebration of the many different kinds of teachers in life, whether it’s ones in the classroom, parents who unexpectedly found themselves thrust into the role during the pandemic or those who teach people about passions like music and fitness. It shows the ways they have adapted to meet the challenges of educating during the pandemic, largely using the kinds of technology Best Buy has in store.

The campaign is led by a spot titled “What will tech help us learn this year?” and it builds upon the key pillars that Best Buy has used to set the tone for its brand – namely, that it wants to come across as knowledgeable, inspiring and fun.

“Each of those sentiments need to live in conjunction with the others,” notes James Pelletier, director of marketing for Best Buy.

While developing the spot, dialing in the inspirational and knowledgeable tones was fairly simple. But Best Buy and creative agency Union had to work to incorporate fun in a way that was sensitive to the challenges of the pandemic.

“We wanted to make sure that a fun element was there and it wasn’t a spot that just felt like, ‘Our lives have been so hard.’ We wanted it to have a sense of positivity,” Pelletier explains. “We wanted a nod to the challenges of the year and the hard work that teachers and parents had to do to adapt, but we wanted to keep the tone up.”

Last year, Best Buy’s back-to-school campaign broadened the retailer’s focus to also include people pursuing hobbies or careers they’ve begun during the pandemic, with an assortment-first approach that showed the retailer has the technology people need to be successful in their endeavours. Earlier this year, it began combining that approach with the staff expertise it has previously been well known for, showing how – even when they can’t interact in-store – Best Buy’s “blue shirts” can help people find the technology to pursue their passions, whether it’s setting up a new home theatre or becoming an online content creator.

With so many people pursuing passions like fitness, cooking, beauty and more by passing their expertise on to others, broadening the scope of what makes a “teacher” gives Best Buy another place to show its role in enriching peoples’ lives, Pelletier says.

“This became even more relevant during the pandemic, and we believe technology will continue to play the role as we come out of the pandemic,” he adds.

The campaign is airing until Sept. 12 on TV and online. Media planning and buying was handled by Media Experts and Best Buy Canada’s internal digital team.