Back to School Advertising

Right around the world, Back to School time is considered one of the largest shopping season of the year, as families ready themselves for going back to school. When it comes to your Back to School Advertising, it’s important to consider timing – and you may find yourself surprised by what research has found. In the USA, the National Retail Federation found that over $80 billion was spent on Back to School shopping, with the average household spending ~ $500. So depending on your location, Back to School is different in the Northern Hemisphere compared to the Southern Hemisphere.

For most bricks and mortar retailers as well as online retailers, the Back to School season is the second largest selling season after the winter holidays. As such retailers are incredibly competitive at this time of year and are vying for sales. So how can your brand stand out from the crowd, influence parents and generate sales? Here are some ideas on how to make your back to school advertising campaign a success.

Back To School Advertising Strategies & Targeting

From a Media Planning and Buying perspective, Gourmet Ads recommends for brands wanting to engage and influence Grocery Buyers using Contextual Targeting and Audience Targeting for their Back to School Advertising Campaign.

Back to School Contextual Targeting

  • Back to School Content
  • Lunch Recipes
  • Sandwich Recipes

Back to School Audience Segments

These segments can be used uncoupled in your own DSP

  • Sandwich Recipes
  • Recipe Content

Back to School Campaign Options

Back to School Dates  

  • August & September – US, Canada & UK
  • Late January – Australia, Singapore, New Zealand

Back to School Ads 

Here are some of the Back to School Ads we’ve run across Gourmet Ads.

Back to School Ads - Pottery Barn Kids - 300x600
Back to School Ads - Thermos - 300x600
Back to School Ads - Rubbermaid - 300x600

Back to School Advertising Strategy

Saving Parents Money
During Back to School, parents are typically sensitive about price, especially if they have multiply kids to buy for. So advertising that focuses on saving money is key, and as such many retailer offer Free Shipping, Coupons, Mail in Rebates and straight instore discounting. If you offer a compelling discounting offer, parents will most likely buy everything at your store, as a way to get it all over and done with !

Attention Grabbing Creative and Messaging 
With so many retailers investing in back to school advertising campaigns, your creative has to grab the attention of parents. Remembering parents will be bombarded, so clear and concise messaging is key. As an example, in previous years some retailers have done campaigns around “penny products” where a range of products were just a 1 cent. If that doesn’t grab your attention, then not sure what will.

Media Planning and Buying
When developing your media plan you need to look at two key audiences. The first being parents, the second being the grocery buyer. There’s no point developing great creative if you don’t buy media targeted to either or both of those audiences.

So what type of brands should be undertaking Back to School advertising campaigns?

  • School supplies (typically office supplies)
  • Food Products aimed at Kids (for lunch boxes)
  • Beverage Companies (also for lunch boxes)
  • Supermarkets & Grocery Companies (various)
  • Electronics Stores (Laptops, calculators, etc)

It goes without saying that your digital Back to School advertising creative should be consistent with all your TV campaigns, in-store displays and unique price promotions.

Going Back to School 

The Back to School period in the US typically has a moving start date, depending on which part of the country you are in. For some places, this can be as early as the first week of August. The same can be said of when it finishes – with people buying their supplies later and later, back to school advertising is actually more of a pre-fall marathon than a sprint.

When it comes to what people are buying for back to school, there’s a wide range of what customers are looking for. Those with children 18+ who are going to university will be looking as much for decorations and soft furnishings for their dorm rooms, rather than simply books and writing utensils. Parents will be looking for school supplies, clothing, and shoes, as well as sports uniforms and extra curricular supplies.

Back to school shopping is still something which people prefer to engage in in person, rather than online. Families are using their phones and computers to find prices, coupons and discounts, but don’t follow through on purchasing here. This is also particularly true when it comes to food shopping – people will be looking for healthy, balanced lunchtime ingredients to put in their kids’ packed lunches.

Let’s Get Started ! 

Let the Gourmet Ads team walk you through all the options available to ensure that your Food, Supermarket, Beverage or Kitchen advertising campaign has the best possible combination of Premium Guaranteed Inventory, Scale, First Party Data, Contextual Targeting and Programmatic Advertising elements.