Best Buy’s New In-Store Network

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

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..

The official launch was held at an upfront event in December in New York for agencies, advertisers and vendors.

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 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.

Among advertisers to date have been Canon, Sony, and P&G‘s Swiffer, Tide, Duracell and Braun.

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.

One Response to “Best Buy’s New In-Store Network”

  1. Bill Collins Says:

    Gail: Thanks for this report.

    This is an exciting development re: in-store digital media in North America. Because Best Buy is one of the most prominent retailers in the USA (in Canada it operates under two names — Future Shop and Best Buy), this give a big boost to our industry.

    This network has been a long-time coming. Best Buy has had bits and pieces of in-store screen media (some driven by networks, some driven by DVD) in its stores for many years. If memory serves, these may have been established back in the late 1990s.

    What this new network represents is a all-out embrace of in-store screen media by Best Buy’s top management, and a dedicated internal team being assembled (as has been done at Walmart and Target) to plan it, program it, sell ad space on it, and systematically enhance it over time. So, for our industry, THAT (the well-though-out internal team being put together at Best Buy) is the most exciting thing about this new network. In effect, it prepares the way for this network to be successful over the long haul.

    This is a network that is worth paying a lot of attention to. This *is* a big deal.

    Bill Collins
    DecisionPoint Media Insights

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