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Let’s all go #BackToSchool

Tuesday 1st September 2015 by David Jones

Noura colour backdrop

It’s “Back To School” week, aka the first week of September, new term, almost end of summer, (Although we haven’t really had much of a summer – have we!), kids are starting a new school year, parents are getting back into school mentality, it feels like a new start for everyone.

I was doing my weekly office routine this morning and ran into a colleague who works in my building, we had a brief chat about chores like emptying the office bins and interestingly, his response was, “Yes well, the 1st September – it’s the start of a new term.” I found this quite interesting that even though he and many of us finished school years ago (although personally, I just graduated last year) we can’t seem to break the habit of dividing the calendar year into school terms.

Many motivational speakers talk about the benefits of adopting a “Back To School” mentality, not just for students, but for employees too. Chalene Johnson discusses how much school children accomplish in just one day; 6 to 7 hours of studying, learning multiple subjects, and retaining a lot of information.

As in so many other retail categories – “Back To School” shopping behaviour is moving rapidly online, with smartphones and tablets being used for both investigation and purchasing. In this context, social media has a growing influence on purchase decisions, especially when shoppers see influencers sharing tips and ideas on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. For instance, a U.S. study in 2014 found that “Back to School” searches on Pinterest grew by 377% year-on-year.

This prompted me to see what brands were up to on social media with their “Back to School” campaigns, here are a few of the more interesting examples…

NASA Space Suit Careers

The first one that caught my eye was from NASA who have tweeted an infographic that celebrates the link from “Back To School” to the workplace and careers. It highlights that over 50 different careers go into making a space suit, from design to manufacturing, assembly and testing… M&S Expandicuff Technology   

Not Rocket Science but a very close second surely is Expandicuff technology. This M&S ad introduces hassle free school uniforms that feature their Expandicuff technology – helping younger children get themselves ready for school. Managing to mine both a new spirit of independence on the part of the child and thoughtfulness on the part of the parent as a shopper – true genius!  They have promoted it using the slogan “The best for every milestone”. Leaving the door open to innovation across the generations.

ASDA Mum’sEyeView Channel

ASDA has harnessed the 180k subscribers to Mum’s Eye View, the supermarket’s YouTube channel, posting an ad video on ideas of what to pack in your kid’s lunchbox, co-presented by Anna Saccone (from the Saccone Joly’s) and her daughter Emilia. This is a smart tactic to use a “real life” person to talk about ASDA products in a nonchalant manner, bearing in mind that many of their viewers feel that they can trust the well-known YouTuber.

Not to be outdone rival Tesco has posted a picture of a creative way to pack a lunch box making it look like a submarine. Not sure how you drink the sandwich through the straw though! Too literal, maybe? Trend Micro Mobile Security

Lastly, Trend Micro have promoted their product Mobile Security using the hash tag #BackToSchool. As you might expect they claim that nowadays it’s not about parents buying the traditional school uniform any more, it has become more about investing in tech products like laptops and tablets for their children for school and education. This is leading to parents being anxious about device theft, cyberbullying and data insecurity which Trend Micro’s product is designed to keep the children away from. The days of a pencil case and Oxford geometry set were certainly simpler times!

“Back To School” as a marketing theme is not confined to the commercial sector, the Not For Profits are getting in on the act too! Many charities are using #BackToSchool to raise awareness and get supporters to help kids worldwide, particularly where there is the greatest need for education equality.  Here’s a quirky example from Plan UK, at Habit5 we did 1, 5, 8 and 12!

#BackToSchool is certainly trending and we are looking forward to seeing what else brands are going to come up with and just who will be #TopOfTheClass come the end of term! Is that the school bell I can hear? Time to go.