I opened Sunday’s Tribune, glanced through the ad inserts…and there it was.
The ad circular for the office-supply store, Staples, boldly stating: “Back to School Sale!”
Are you kidding me?! July 11?! SIX weeks before school?!
I know we see Thanksgiving ads in mid-October, but those don’t send spikes of terror into every square inch of a 10-year-old’s body. Those three hideous words – Back to school – DO. Can’t this crap wait until it’s fair time. It’s like beginning hunting season three weeks early.
No kid wants to see his mom come home from her errands IN EARLY JULY with a bag full of pencils, note pads and binders. Thousands of kids all over America are going to run to their camp calendar on the fridge just to confirm that it’s not mid-August.
Is Staples really getting a big jump on its competition? Perhaps. But, I doubt it. I don’t think consumers/parents want to be reminded how fast time is passing. And, we actually resent when corporations and marketers falsely reinforce the point.
I get that someone at Staples corporate probably suggested, “Hey, guys. NO one is thinking back to school in early July. Let’s be the first and get a jump on our competitors.” You’re right. Families are still planning their summer vacations, NOT thinking back to school. So, try another tactic to get people into your stores. Something that’s believable and that lets kids digest their last meal fully before being thrown into an artificial, time-hijacked panic.
Listen up kids: YOU’VE GOT PLENTY OF SUMMER LEFT. Don’t give school a second thought until two weeks before you have to go. Staples, are you listening?