It seems to me that all the anticipation, excitement, preparation (and expense!) for the beginning of the new school year is a marketer’s dream.
For school, there is the preliminary shopping for clothing and shoes. Lots of clothing and shoes. Even kids who wear the required school uniform want (need?) the approved variety of school uniform accessory choices.
There’s the backpack and items of organization to fill the backpack. Notebooks (one for each subject), pencils and pens and Sharpies, markers and crayons, binders, folders, rulers, mini-staplers, erasers, sticky notes, various sizes of note cards, assignment pad (often, one for each subject), and a whole bunch of other things that must be squished and squashed into the backpack.
And separate and distinct from the backpack is the gym bag, and all items to fill the gym bag. Oh, the sneakers, t-shirts, shorts, socks, baseball hat(s), sunblock, soap, towel.
Then there’s the brand new underwear. Why not start off fresh and clean?
And all manner of accessories. Pocketbooks, belts, jewelry, hair necessities. More baseball hats. Lunchboxes and/or designer lunch bags.
There are the haircuts. Visits to the dentist. Pediatrician appointments, just in case a kid wants to play sports, cheerlead, attend a school trip, and probably even if a kid wants to join the theater club or play a musical instrument.
(Oh yeah, must purchase musical instruments.)
Paperwork and checks from parents to sign up for tutorial sessions and/or PSAT and SAT preparation classes.
And let’s not forget the home assessment. Desk, fully equipped. Computer. Paper. Cartridges. Laptop. Dictionary. Thesaurus.
A cell phone. iPod (for relaxation/sports/bribery).
Possibly a new bike.
Or car. At which time gasoline factors in. And all other automotive necessities.
Need I go on!?
Now take, for example, when I was a kid in the 50’s and early 60’s. I remember getting a new pair of dressy “school shoes” for the first day of school (the ones that couldn’t be worn again until the holidays). A new dress or two (one year I got three and I thought I was a princess!). A bright new lunchbox.
And… well, that was about it. Except for the new underwear.
Where were all the marketing geniuses back then, when I could have benefited from getting some of this cool back to school loot!?