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Back-to-school shopping season is the "holiday season" for OfficeMax and Payless

By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk

Tomorrow my younger daughter, Alex, is heading back to college to start her sophomore year at the University of Buffalo. She'll only be 70 miles west of us, so we'll still see her occasionally on the weekends. Our older daughter, Kelsey, will be leaving on Monday to start her study abroad semester at NYU's campus in Florence, Italy. So we definitely won't be seeing her on the weekends. Soon it will be just my husband and I again in our house with our two dogs and two cats.....ahhhh!

Last week I wrote this post, Back-to-school time is here - Sears connects with students on Facebook with their Campus 2010 Program. The back-to-school shopping season how become a big part of many retailer's and brand's marketing efforts. Web measurement company Compete recently released some data which stated that nearly 1/3 (30%) of back-to-school shoppers surveyed by the firm said they plan to do at least half of their purchasing online, most of them moms shopping for their kids. The study also showed that overall most people expect to spend as much or more than last year despite the lagging economic recovery.


The back-to-school season is bigger than the holiday season for some retailers such as OfficeMax and Payless who are partnering for the second year in a row. They have developed a cross-promotion between school supplies and shoes.


Payless_Coupon How it works is that shoppers at either retailer will receive a coupon at checkout to use at the other respective store. The incentive is a cash savings.Through Sept. 6, OfficeMax stores will print a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase at Payless valid until Sept. 27. Alternatively, through Sept. 11, Payless retail stores will print a coupon for $10 off a $30 purchase at OfficeMax valid until Sept. 18.

Besides the cross promotion with Payless, OfficeMax has launched a fully integrated marketing campaign which includes this new back-to-school supplies website. It is a great way to market to women online since it offers a zip code tool to help search for weekly local promotions and includes a recommended school supply lists for each grade level. To assist shoppers in-store, OfficeMax features school-supply lists on free-standing displays.

OfficeMax_BTS To further create awareness they are also running national TV ads that highlight the emotion around the back-to-school season as well as feature the local promotions.

OfficeMax also has included social media in the mix and has created a special BTS "Fun Stuff" tab on its Facebook fan page that includes a "Can you make the grade?" quiz which allows fans to test their grade school knowledge or Paparazzi Status Stickers which they can give to friends to match their status updates. Plus if you "Like" the page, OfficeMax will donate $1.00 to Adopt-a-Classroom which supports teachers buying classroom supplies. As of noon today they have raised $1,315.

OfficeMax_JonasBros_Sweeps To top it all off, OfficeMax is sponsoring the Jonas Brothers' 2010 "Live in Concert" Tour and has launched the "Winning the Dream" sweepstakes to give five fans the chance to see the Jonas Brothers live in San Francisco with three friends. The sweepstakes runs through Sept. 4.

OfficeMax is the same company that has brought us the cute and clever "Elf Yourself" campaign for the past four holiday seasons. So their marketing team sure has been busy little elves themselves and a model for the rest of us marketers.


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Donna DeClemente

Beth, your daughter must be a Jonas Brothers fan then. Mine are both in college, so not into them, but would love going San Francisco of course!

Vanessa, Thanks for the welcome back.


If I could somehow pull off and win the "Winning the Dream" sweapstakes for my daughter, I don't think she would ever complain about going back to school again!


When I was a kid I dreaded back to school shopping because it meant I had to go back to school, now I love it for saving money and getting the kids out of the house.

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