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Key Takeaways
  1. Rising costs are causing consumer to spend more on essential back-to-school supplies, in addition to making sales and promtions a higher priority.
  2. As more consumers are opting for generic brands, TV offers an unparalleled opportunity to engage broad or targeted audiences.
  3. A unified approach to TV advertising can help tackle shifting consumer behaviors and boost campaign performance.

Key Takeaways

  1. Rising costs are causing consumer to spend more on essential back-to-school supplies, in addition to making sales and promtions a higher priority.
  2. As more consumers are opting for generic brands, TV offers an unparalleled opportunity to engage broad or targeted audiences.
  3. A unified approach to TV advertising can help tackle shifting consumer behaviors and boost campaign performance.

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The back-to-school season is among the most significant shopping events for consumers and retailers alike, deemed the second largest annual spend behind the winter holiday season. 

In fact, as inflation continues to rise, 38% of consumers say they are cutting back in other areas of spending to cover the cost of items for the upcoming school year, according to the National Retail Federation. Many households expect to spend more per person on back-to-school items this year as a result of higher prices. 

Back-to-school spending has also increased dramatically since the onset of the pandemic, further driving consumer value-seeking behaviors when it comes to back-to-school purchases. With that in mind, retail marketers should aim to be everywhere consumers are during the back-to-school season, beginning with TV.  

Price and Value are Key Drivers of Back-to-School Purchase Decisions 

8 in 10 Americans believe the current economic situation will have an impact on their back-to-school shopping budget, according to Dentsu Consumer Navigator. However, most are willing to sacrifice other areas of household spending to fund back-to-school purchases. Consumers consider back-to-school items as an essential category, and they are taking whatever steps they can in order to purchase what they need for the upcoming school year. 

This commodity approach is also leading consumers to make needs-based and price-based decisions. 82% say they are likely to buy generic store brands instead of name brands, 64% said discounts will greatly impact their decisions, and 50% do research online ahead of making back-to-school purchases. Consumers are not only cutting back on discretionary spending, but they are also looking for sales and buying more store- or off-brand items.  

Why Brands Should Leverage TV Buys for Back to School 

 When it comes to back-to-school, it’s imperative for advertisers to stay one step ahead of the competition – and including TV in your back-to-school media plans can help campaigns deliver.   

TV remains the most effective medium to reach a broad audience with brand messaging and drive results. Linear TV can drive awareness of deals or particular items offered for back-to-school – a necessity when more consumers are now considering generic brand alternatives. Addressable TV can be used to target viewers, in this case parents and children, with relevant promotions and offers at the household level. CTV helps drive incremental reach beyond linear, targeting cord cutters and light TV viewers. 

How TV Advertising Can Help Address Shifting Consumer Behaviors 

To prevent consumers from shopping for generic brands or competitors, it is crucial to highlight promotional offers. Advertising the availability of special pricing and discounts will also be especially important given that more consumers are keeping an eye out for sales events to make the most of their back-to-school budget. Implementing a competitive promotions strategy this season will likely provide bigger benefits to retailers than in years past.  

Advertisers should also keep in mind that children are heavily involved in purchasing decisions. When it comes to back-to-school shopping, brands should not only be seeking to reach parents, but find ways to engage the students as well.  

TV advertising campaigns are a proven way to combat shifting consumer behavior and minimize the impact of economic challenges. Cadent is a one-stop shop for data-driven TV advertising and takes a unified approach to simplify execution across a very complex TV marketplace. With Cadent, advertisers can effectively reach national audiences, leverage advanced audience targeting, and measure campaign performance.  

Find out how Cadent can support your brand’s back-to-school advertising initiatives.