5 Winning Back-To-School Campaigns


It has only been a month since the school year ended but it’s already time for many brands to start thinking about their back-to-school campaigns. Social and content marketing can be essential pieces to successful back-to-school marketing.

Here is how five brands created winning back-to-school campaigns:

Staples: #StaplesForStudents

In 2012, Staples won big with their “Staples for Students” campaign. By utilizing the aforementioned hashtag on various social channels, Staples encouraged followers to purchase certain products. When a product was purchased, Staples bought school supplies for disadvantaged students as well. By integrating their social media efforts, and giving them an altruistic spin, Staples put together a successful campaign.

Target: Bullseye University

To encourage college students (and their parents) to purchase dorm furniture and other supplies from Target, Target set up “Bullseye University,” interactive video content that engaged their followers. Bullseye University featured college students living in dorms filled with Target products as a means of showing off their wares. By making content fun, and interactive, Target put a positive spotlight on their products.

L. L. Bean: Supplies that Last All Year

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One of the big risks in starting a back-to-school marketing campaign is starting too early. L. L. Bean has found a clever way around this problem by using its social channels to focus on how backpacks, and other school products will last “all year.” Instead of specifically emphasizing a “back to school” message, L. L. Bean is letting users know that their kids’ products are durable, and can stand up to the pressures of time.

Apple: “Extra Credit”

Apple is always a favorite brand of students heading back to school. This year, they added to their already generous back-to-school deals with their “Extra Credit” program. When you buy an Apple product from the Apple Store, Apple will give you “extra credit” if you’re buying it for school- specifically, they’ll give you a gift card to buy even more product.

Sharpie: User Generated Content

In 2011, Sharpie launched an integrated campaign with completely re-designed packaging on their products, a social media blitz, and user generated content- art created with sharpies that was posted on their web site and social media accounts. By integrating their efforts and inspiring their fans’ creative sides, Sharpie launched a back-to-school campaign that got results.