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Office Depot, PTA Go Back To School

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New Campaign From Wyse Kicks Off Retailer's New Sponsorship
CHICAGO--Office Depot next week begins a $10 million back-to-school campaign that continues its ties to the comic strip Dilbert while forging a new partnership with the National PTA.
Two 30-second TV spots from Wyse Advertising in Cleveland break Aug. 5. The spots, using the Dogbert character from the comic strip, are the first to be scripted by Dilbert creator Scott Adams. Office Depot has used the Dilbert character in its advertising since awarding the $30 million account to Wyse late last year.
The spots customize the company's tagline to: "Back-to-school is crazy. But Office Depot makes sense."
Sharing the spotlight with Dogbert in Office Depot's TV and print advertising will be the National PTA, with which the Delray Beach, Fla.-based retailer has taken a long-term marketing sponsorship role. Positioning itself as the official school supplier of the PTA, Office Depot's Supporting School Values program offers special discounts to teachers and PTA members through a book of coupons. Tie-in partners include Compaq, Crayola, Eastpak, Mead, Sanford, Texas Instruments, Xerox and others.
Additionally, the retailer is launching an in-store sweepstakes. One winning family in each of the 40 states where Office Max operates will win a Compaq laptop computer and designate a local school of their choice to receive a $5,000 Office Depot shopping spree.
"The PTA has been every parent's friend for 102 years. We're proud of the partnership and the pro-gram," said Gary Schweikhart, Office Depot vice president for advertising and public relations. "And in a business sense, they are the perfect partners for us as well. Schools are very big customers for us. And this allows us to show parents that we're a source not only of school supplies but of products for business as well."
The PTA's Web address (www.pta.org) and a toll-free number for membership inquiries will be included in media advertising and in-store materials, including signage and bags. Each of Office Depot's 600 stores will sponsor an annual Teacher Appreciation Breakfast in conjunction with a local PTA chapter. Teachers attending will receive a 10 percent discount on supplies purchases.
"We expect the Supporting School Values program to be only the first step in a long-term relationship with the PTA," said Schweickhart.