Holiday effort positions Best Buy as tech toyland

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Best Buy kicks off its largest ever holiday push Nov. 12 with a $100 million campaign featuring the technology retailer's Idea Box mascot dressed as Santa.

The multimedia push, created by Best Buy Advertising, the Eden Prairie, Minn.-based chain's in-house agency, includes four TV spots, several print ads, in-store promotion and Sunday circulars.

This year, Best Buy will expand its media plan to encompass network TV buys, in addition to national cable and spot buys. Creative also promotes the retailer's recently launched online store, Advertising for is handled by DDB Worldwide, New York.

The TV spots, produced with special effects and animation via George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic, target 18-to-49-year-olds with an emphasis on men, who are typical technology enthusiasts and early adopters. Off-beat, humorous creative executions tout Best Buy's "Turn on the fun" brand promise, highlighting hot, high-tech gadgetry ranging from videogame consoles to handheld organizers.

"It's really that we're bringing magical gifts that bring out the fun in everyone," said Julie Engel, senior VP of Best Buy Advertising. "It's designed to support our brand positioning by showing products that make your life more fun."


One 30-second spot, "Magic Laptop," shows magic dust swirling down the chimney and into a family's living room. The Idea Box Santa sees the stockings hanging by the mantel, eyes a laptop and logs on to The site gives him the option of "Delivery" or "In-store pickup." The mascot chooses "Delivery," and gifts such as a high-definition TV magically appear. When a child wanders downstairs, the Santa Box character grabs a cookie left for the real Santa.

In "Lawn Ornaments" the Idea Box Santa finishes delivering gifts. As he flies away on his sleigh, his magic dust coats some lawn ornaments -- a reindeer, snowman and candle -- that spring to life.


Best Buy will insert different star products, such as a portable MP3 player, laptop PC and Sony Computer Entertainment America's PlayStation 2, into the spot. The commercials will run in heavy rotation on prime-time TV, with a particular emphasis on sports programming. The spots also will air during Fox TV's Thanksgiving night presentation of "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me."

Holiday-specific print ads run through January in 16 magazines, including GQ, Men's Health, Spin and Wired. Best Buy holiday circulars hit 500 newspapers Nov. 12.

The massive effort caps off a busy year for the No. 1 technology retailer. went live in recent months, and this fall the retailer also entered the competitive New York metro market.

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