The tributes to late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs after he died prompted electronics retailer Best Buy to change its Super Bowl Advertising strategy. The retailer will forgo celebrities in its ads this year, spotlighting inventors instead.
Josh Ong of AppleInsider writes:
The Richfield, Minn., company attempted to capitalize on the star appeals of popstar Justin Bieber and rocker Ozzy Osbourne with a television commercial during last year’s Super Bowl. This year, however, the company will change its tack and highlight Silicon Valley innovators like Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom and cameraphone pioneer Philippe Kahn, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
Best Buy’s marketing chief Drew Panayiotou told the publication that Jobs’ legacy was the reason for the change. After Jobs passed away last October, people around the world flocked to Apple retail stores to mourn him and pay tribute to his legacy. Most recently, U.S. President Barack Obama mentioned Jobs as an example of American ingenuity during the State of the Union address last month.
The tributes made him realize that technology inventors like Jobs are today’s stars, Panayiotou said. He then decided to switch from celebrity power to a feature on inventors for Best Buy Super Bowl ad.
Panayiotou admits that the move is risky, and that the move is a high-stakes bet given how much it cost. A 30 second commercial during this year’s Super Bowl will reportedly cost a record $3.5 million on average. The retailer runs the risk of having its ads being overshadowed by other spots that will run during the game.
“Big brands like to hire celebrities,” Panayiotou told Bloomberg. “We looked at everyone from George Clooney to Stephen Colbert. We believe the inventors are more than enough. I give those 125 million viewers a lot of credit. I think they’ll appreciate the story.”
This is not the first time that Best Buy has drawn inspiration from Apple’s image to promote itself. In November the retailer ran ads promoting itself as the place to buy Apple products. Reports say Apple devices were some of Best Buy’s best selling products during the holiday shopping season.
Best Buy has also reportedly been trying to make its brick and mortar stores more like Apple’s retail outlets, which are often referred to as retail done right.