Best Buy tackles Big Apple as part of $100 mil ad push

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Best Buy Co. is putting its brand stamp on the Big Apple in a big way, sponsoring a free concert with Sting in New York's Central Park on Sept. 12.

The concert sponsorship will support the technology retailer's entry into the New York/New Jersey market. Best Buy will open 10 stores in New York and five in New Jersey this fall, just in time for the fourth quarter, typically the high season for consumer electronics sales.

The Sting concert is the latest component of Best Buy's more than $100 million "Turn on the fun" brand campaign from its in-house agency. "We wanted to have a celebration with the New York community, and we wanted to make a major brand statement about our position in the entertainment ecosystem," said Mary Miller, Best Buy's VP-brand management.

"We're signaling to the marketplace who we are, that we're about fun, entertainment and technology," said Mike Linton, seniorVP- strategic marketing.


The event will be supported before Labor Day with an estimated $15 million multimedia campaign that will feature local TV spots flagging stores' grand openings, wild postings, signs in subway cars and on taxis, bus wraps, and other outdoor advertising.

A national sweepstakes advertised in Sunday newspaper circulars will give consumers a chance to win a trip to New York to attend the concert. Best Buy's online store also will tout the contest; DDB Worldwide, New York, handles advertising duties for


Best Buy has plenty of competition in the New York/New Jersey region. Circuit City Stores, for instance, operates nearly 30 stores in the area, and office superstores such as Staples have a strong presence. However, Ms. Miller contended there is a void Best Buy can fill: "We are actually bringing something that the people of New York have said they want -- low prices, no pressure and the products they want."

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