The back-to-school season is considered by many retailers as the first opportunity of the year to push the creative envelope with unique and compelling advertising. Whether through commercials or flashy websites, some retailers go all out to impress both the teens and pre-teens who are heading back to class and, of course, the mothers and fathers who have control over the purse strings.
To gauge consumer sentiment around back-to-school and back-to-college advertising, Prosper Insights & Analytics polled more than 5,000 families about their favorite commercials and websites of the summer.
Walmart tops the list for both groups this year with 20 percent of back-to-school shoppers voting for the discounter and 18 percent of college shoppers favoring its ads. Walmart took a simple, cost-saving approach, aiming to speak to real families on a budget. In this economy, that tone likely goes a long way.
Here’s a look at one of Walmart’s school commercials from this summer:
Another clear winner this was Kmart’s “Yo Mama” commercial. Spinning off the success from its recent and now-viral ”Ship My Pants” campaign, Kmart took the opportunity to add a twist on the ”yo mama” joke. Watch the hysterical segment below.
Target went all out to promote their “Give With…” initiative to provide 5 million backpacks to students in need around the country, reiterating the fact that retail is community. Consumers responded favorably, with 15 percent of college shoppers and 18 percent of school shoppers saying Target had the best commercials this summer. Target was one of many retailers that gave back this year. During the back-to-school season, companies donated interactive technology to classrooms, provided new books for teachers to use for lessons, promoted an anti-bullying initiative, and much more.
Retailers also frequently utilize digital components for their big school and college promotions. Walmart again headed the list of top websites, with 14 percent of college and 22 percent of school shoppers liking their web designs best. Walmart.com touted free shipping on college essentials, and featured a user-friendly school and college micro-site that helped parents and students find exactly what they needed.
Now that Labor Day has passed and school buses once again fill the roads, there’s only one thing to look forward to: the holiday season. What types of promotions will we see from companies in the coming months?