It's never too early, apparently, for back-to-school campaigns
Some kids may just be starting summer camp, but retailers are already thinking ahead to fall—and school. This week, campaigns from Office Depot and American Eagle will begin running as marketers clamor for a piece of the back-to-school spending pie.
And, unfortunately for retailers, that pie is about the same size this year as it was last year. Back-to-school spending is expected to be roughly flat with 2018, according to Deloitte. Total spending for the period will reach $27.8 billion, or 2 percent more than last year, according to Deloitte’s annual back-to-school survey of more than 1,200 parents of children in grades K-through-12.
Office Depot’s campaign is similar in scope and timing to 2018, according to a spokesman. The chain worked with VMLY&R on creative that highlights products. A 15-second spot, for example, features supplies such as pens and unicorn notebooks.
Meanwhile, American Eagle will host a launch event Monday for its new fall streetwear collaboration with Lil Wayne, AE x Young Money. The collection includes 25 styles of hoodies, jeans, boxers and shorts featuring the Young Money design. The teen retailer will begin pushing the collaboration next week in a series of ads, including a nearly two-minute long video created by Mathieu Plainfossé.
Such campaigns are well-timed. With 48 hours of Amazon Prime Day, the Seattle e-commerce giant’s annual shopping holiday, starting Monday, bargain-hungry consumers may be poised to start spending—whether on school products and apparel or other promotions.
In recent years, marketers have been trucking out the back-to-school ads earlier than ever even as they spend less on the period. Last year, the top 10 back-to-school advertisers spent $135.3 million—down 22 percent from the period in 2017, according to Kantar. In 2018, Kantar found that Target and Walmart were the largest advertisers in the category.