Staples satisfies consumer curiosity about its transformation

The retailer's new positioning is meant to show customers it has the answers to both the hard and easy questions.


Staples has been transforming its business since 2018, transitioning from the company that used the “Easy Button” to make office tasks less stressful to the “Working and Learning Company” that not only covers the products office workers, entrepreneurs and students need, but services like printing, graphic design, co-working and professional development workshops.

Now the company has made its first big change to its marketing to align with that transformation, launching a new campaign called “Let’s Find Out,” developed with AOR Jackman Reinvents.

Jackman has worked with Staples since 2019, first on the design transformation of its stores before moving into its advertising and marketing. While the agency has worked on some campaigns for specific Staples offerings, this new campaign is a holistic effort meant to communicate the breadth of change that has happened at the retailer.

“They’ve done a lot of work to go from being the office supplies warehouse to the ‘Working and Learning Company.’ Staples is not just the humdrum office supply chain people might think of,” explains Rachel Abrams, CD at Jackman. “It was our task with this campaign to let people know about that.”

The campaign is centred on two bilingual spots in 30- and 15-second formats, with comedian Howie Mandel starring in the English spots and Pierre-Yves Lord in the French version. Both spots cast the pair as “the voice of curiosity in our heads,” says Abrams.

PYLordIn that role, Mandel and Lord ask questions ranging from the trivial – “why did they even invent tofu?” and “is the hotdog a sandwich?” – to the practical. While the message is more aspirational than the functional “Easy Button” work, the positioning is still somewhat related: Staples can be a partner in discovery and “a voice of positivity, optimism and can-do,” Abrams says, which ultimately helps people find the solutions to whatever obstacles they’re facing.

“This is a really big moment for Staples,” adds Abrams. “They’ve been known for the ‘Easy Button’ for so many years, but running a business and building a career is not that easy. It takes a lot of hard work, every day.”

The spots are airing on TV and digital, as well as on Staples’ own channels, including its website and social media. Staples will also be supporting the campaign with email marketing efforts.

Additional spots in the “Let’s Find Out” campaign will follow during the holiday season and for back-to-school season in 2022, Abrams says.