Staples for Students

Staples for Students

Back-to-school is a critical sales season for Staples. Each year, Tilson PR drives one of the company’s most important annual campaigns—Staples for Students—merging cause marketing with smart media outreach to generate millions of impressions for the office supply leader.

Challenge
Spark engagement with moms, tweens and teens during Staples’ busy back-to-school season.

Strategy
Forge a strategic, cause marketing partnership with an organization deeply connected to today’s youth, leveraging celebrity ties to build currency.

Execution
For five years running Tilson has driven one of Staples’ most important annual campaigns, Staples for Students—an annual cause marketing campaign that urges teens to rally as one to collect and donate school supplies to support local youth in need.

In partnership with Do Something, one of the largest organizations in the U.S. for teens and social change, Staples for Students leverages peer influence with the power of teen celebrity. Tilson was instrumental in forging this partnership, creating the strategy and executional elements that drive Staples for Students each year.

Tilson deploys a series of multi-channel tactics that includes social media, text opt-ins and retail point of sale communications in all Staples’ stores.

Tilson also works closely with Do Something each year to connect timely, relevant teen personalities to the cause. This past year teen pop star Bella Thorne lent her impactful voice to spread the word for this initiative via a public service announcement. In addition, Harry Shum, Jr., Kendall and Kylie Jenner, JoJo, and Kat Graham joined Thorne at an after party hosted at Staples Center in LA, following the Teen Choice Awards. Together with teen volunteers, the group filled hundreds of backpacks with school essentials donated by Staples.

Results

  • Since 2008, the campaign has raised more than $2 million for hundreds of thousands of students in need throughout the country.
  • Celebrity spokespeople of Staples for Students have also included Jordin Sparks, Ciara, Nikki Reed and the cast of "Pretty Little Liars."
  • Since the program began, total media impressions include 2.5+ billion and have included national placements in such top-tier outlets as the New York Times, Time Magazine, Seventeen, Extra, Forbes, USA Today, Fox Business, and the Wall Street Journal.
  • The Staples for Students campaign, currently in its fifth year, continues to serve as a stake in the ground for Staples during one of the busiest retail seasons of the year.
     

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