Since I’m working in marketing, I have the feeling that my summers go by much faster. Probably due to the fact that vacations used to last up to 2 months, and now I have to settle for 2 weeks of free time. However, I want to believe that the subjective feeling about the length of the summer is also negatively affected by the Back to School briefs that we usually face since the beginning of July. Because of them, we think about going back to school, and that return inevitably marks the end of summer, no matter how much the calendar says otherwise.
The target group is always the same, with these briefs, but the products and services are different. Companies from more and more industries feel the need to advertise in this period. School supplies are not even the category in which the most purchases are made with coming back to the classrooms, electronic devices and clothes are priorities. At the same time, in the American market, more money is spent on purchases only around Christmas and on Black Friday. This all means that we will continue to encounter such briefs, maybe they will just start arriving even earlier. So while we’re solving creative doubts for this year’s campaigns, we’ll also look back at the history of Back to School communication.
In the first half of the twentieth century, the number of women in college increased dramatically. Sellers saw this as an opportunity, so they started opening portable stores on the spot, where they presented specially tailored offers for the students. In this way, they started a tradition that was short-lived but laid the foundation for modern Back to School campaigns.
Once the concept was set, they just took it to all channels. Less than a decade later, the largest retail chains had their catalogs dedicated to the back-to-school program, and already in 1944, American citizens could order accessories and other necessities via mail.
Expansion to other industries
As we have seen, in the beginning, the retail facilities were the initiators of the campaigns, but as the demand grew, the manufacturers themselves got involved. Clothing brands have taken notice, they have started designing special collections and allocating a part of their budget for their promotions.
Retail chains have responded to this by deliberately going into trouble by cutting prices on things like notebooks, just to keep parents with their brand. Be aware that school supplies are only the tip of the iceberg.
Over time, the Back to School offer expanded more and more, from accessories, sneakers, and clothes, to furniture and electronic devices, so we came to a situation where, for example, Gucci, IKEA, and Apple have their own Back to School campaigns.
Expansion to other media
After the catalog came print ads, then radio, television, the internet… The history of Back to School advertising was no different from the history of advertising in general, but it seems to have reached its peak in the last decade.
With the emergence of influencers, brands got a direct window to the youngest audience, their target group for these campaigns. They used the audience people trust to present their offer. That’s why influencers are mandatory and the main part of BTS campaigns both in the world and in our country. Their in-store shots, meeting fans, and giveaways are a proven recipe that will continue to be exploited.
The biggest problem is exactly in the proven recipe that works, that’s why most brands decide on similar things, which leads to overlapping and congestion of the market. It is difficult to make a clear distinction between the campaigns because essentially they all communicate the same in a very similar way.
There is still a lot of time until the first of September, but the deadlines for campaigns are shorter. The tasks are the same as always, to entertain the children and build trust in the parents, we will get grades for our work somewhere at the time when school starts.