Best Buy has rolled out Best Buy On, a multichannel network which includes a website it calls an ‘online magazine’ and a huge in-store component with content and ad messages broadcast on screens across its stores in the U.S..
Advertisers can access close to 145,000 screens, as well as video players and standard ad units on Best Buy’s global home page, each product’s home page and BestBuyOn.com. Between two and four screens per department are being added, allowing advertisers to specifically buy into the mobile and/or portable entertainment department, for example. Some 100 to 150 screens per store will ultimately be a part of the network, which is now active in 98% of its nearly 1,100 U.S. stores.
The initial soft launch of the project began in 2009. Since then, Best Buy has established its own internal advertising and editorial team, developed relationships with advertisers, media planners and buyers, and invested in screens and online video players. Editorial content is headed by Bill Anderson, vice-president creative director of Best Buy Media Network, Minneapolis.
“I don’t know that all brands can aspire to be a media outlet that’s relevant to the agency community,” Keith Bryan, Best Buy’s senior director-media strategy, told Advertising Age “But multichannel brands that have a footprint physically and digitally can very much be media. Multichannel brands could be one of the most important forms of new media in the next 10 years. Customers expect us to have a point of view. If the only way we can do that is in a 30-second spot or a Sunday free-standing insert, then we’re screwed.”
Editorially, Best Buy On is steering clear of controversial territory, focusing on broader tech stories rather than product reviews, thereby avoiding controversy with vendors. Content spans how-to videos, gift guides, new technology primers, behind-the-scenes looks at popular movies, and more.