Staples is teaming with pop singer Lady Gaga and highlighting e-commerce options during this year's back-to-school season.
On the heels of partnerships with pop singers Katy Perry and Nick Jonas in 2016 and 2015, respectively, the retailer turned to Gaga to help continue to promote positive classroom experiences and solicit donations to fund school projects via crowdfunding platform DonorsChoose.org. The retailer is also donating $1 million each to Gaga's nonprofit Born This Way Foundation and, for the fourth year in a row, DonorsChoose.org.
Gaga stars in a PSA (see below) spotlighting her partnership with Staples and inviting shoppers to donate in stores or via a promotional page (staplesforstudents.com) that links to both DonorsChoose.org and Gaga's Foundation. The video was posted on the retailer's YouTube channel, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and aired as a TV spot in select markets.
As part of the campaign, the retailer is also running a "Staples for Students" sweepstakes awarding one grand-prize winner a $50,000 scholarship and a trip to Las Vegas to watch Lady Gaga perform. Five first-prize winners will also be awarded the same trip. Consumers enter from June 25 through Sept. 16 by making a $25 purchase and submitting their online order number or code found on their in-store receipt via staplesforstudents.com. Melville, NY-based Don Jagoda Associates administers.
In stores, stanchion sign headers and window posters tout the sweeps, directing shoppers to the promotional page. A banner ad and display ad within staples.com, a July 31 Facebook update, as well as multiple summer circular features and email blasts support.
Drumming up further support for the partnership with Gaga, the retailer and Born This Way Foundation launched a promotional website (stapleskindnesstree.com) in August that encourages users to share acts of kindness on the site or via Twitter using the hashtag #GrowKindness. Each message is represented on the site as a leaf on a tree, which users can zoom in on to read. (Channel rival Office Depot teamed with Gaga's Foundation in 2012.)
In other digital activity, Staples is touting its one-hour "buy online, pick up in-store" (BOPIS) service and a mobile app function, which rolled out as a beta test last year, that lets users upload a photo of their school shopping list to automatically add the items to their online cart within 24-48 hours. Shoppers receive a mobile notification once the list is populated.
Multiple staples.com display ads, circular features and email blasts spotlight the BOPIS service, directing shoppers to an e-commerce page (staples.com/fastpickup) listing all eligible products. Meanwhile, a display ad within the retailer's website, multiple circular features, a promotional page and a mobile app ad spotlight the mobile app function using a “we’ll shop for you” message.
Elsewhere on staples.com, a "Back to School Center" page offers school supplies, grouping them by grade level. The page also contains a rotating carousel of brand logos directing users to e-commerce pages for "top brands" including Staples' store brand, Newell Brands' Expo and Elmer's, Microsoft's flagship, Hallmark Cards' Crayola, 3M's Post-it, and the flagships of Texas Instruments and Clorox Co.
Returning BTS Activity
In other promotional activity, Staples is reprising its “110% Price Match Guarantee” during back-to-school season, promising consumers an additional 10% off the difference between Staples’ prices and its competitors’ prices at the time of purchase. As is the case for the year-round Price Match Guarantee, Amazon and any retailers selling products in both retail stores and online qualify. In-store stanchion signs and multiple circular features support.
Previously promoted and grouped under a "less list," Staples is also once again spotlighting low-cost school essentials via multiple circular features and staples.com display ads that employ Staples' "get more. spend less" back-to-school slogan this year. Deals this summer included 15-cent store-brand notebooks and notebooks, 50-cent Hallmark Cards' Crayola crayons, and 50-cent Bic Corp. pencils and Elmer's glue. Multiple email blasts and circular features support.
Videos (see one below) spotlighting the 50-cent deals, as well as store-brand and Crayola products were posted on the retailer's YouTube channel, Twitter and Facebook accounts. Updates for the videos on Facebook also directed users to e-commerce pages for Crayola and store brand products. Crayola also receives secondary merchandising space on floorstands in stores.
Employing Staples' light blue scheme during back-to-school season, account-specific displays from Expo, Belkin International's P-touch and Pilot Corp.'s flagship round out the seasonal theme in stores.