Stumped for back-to-school ideas? Don’t worry, we’ve got some gems for you below 😉

Back-to-school or back-to-business (as you prefer) is THE period not to miss to kickstart the last quarter of the year, especially after summer. 

With the school year about to begin, back-to-school is the second biggest shopping event of the year. Even if you’re not a retailer selling back-to-school products, you still can capitalise on this period to engage with your customers and collect valuable first- and zero-party data. But, you need the best and most effective marketing campaigns to get the most out of a pretty short period, after all.

This is why we’ve compiled all our best back-to-school ideas for you, to use as inspiration.

Make yourself comfortable and get ready to be inspired ⬇

Back-to-school ideas for retailers 

Many people need to buy things for themselves or their children at the beginning of the school year, so you’ll find in this section four back-to-school ideas made for retailers.

1. Contest: “Win your back-to-school list”

We know how expensive a back-to-school list can be. This is why we have come up with this contest idea offering all products on the back-to-school list as prizes. And this type of contest is easy to set up; 

  1. Ask participants to upload their list (by selecting the “file upload” question type)
  2. If you’re a Belgian brand, add a subsidiary question (you know, for legal purposes)
  3. Make a draw between all participants and select one or more lucky winners!


2. Personality test: “What type of student are you?”

This is not the test you think it is, well, not exactly. The personality test below helps students to find the right furniture or decoration for their room based on their personality. Cool, right? And you can run the same test for young workers. You can call it “What type of worker are you?” and allow users to find out the outfit they should wear for their first day. 

Of course, the exit screen should display a selection of your products based on participants’ answers, with a redirection to your e-commerce so they can finish their test with a purchase.


3. Quiz: “Get to school on time”

Not being late for your first day of school or work is quite important and can be stressful. This situation led us to imagine a quiz where participants need to find their way to school without getting stuck in traffic jams and roadworks. A fun game that you can combine with vouchers to be won by participants who arrive on time.


4. Swiper: “Recipe Generator”

Tell us what’s left in your fridge, and we’ll tell you what to cook tonight! We’re sure all students of your community will appreciate this test. With the swiper format, they’ll just have to “swipe” left or right to get recipe recommendations in the end. And if you want to boost your participation rate, offer a small discount to all participants!


Back-to-school ideas for other industries

As mentioned above, you don’t have to sell back-to-school products to capitalise on this period. So, here are some back-to-school ideas you can use to engage your community and stay connected. 

1. Writing contest: “Best Teacher Anecdotes”

After all, it is also back-to-school for teachers, and we can imagine how difficult the return to reality can be after two months of holidays. Enable the teachers inf your community to reminisce on their best or worst memories. Ask them to share their anecdote via a writing contest and make your community vote for their favourite one. 

If you’re a media group, you can use this opportunity to broadcast the most popular anecdotes live on the radio and why not directly call the authors of the anecdotes to tell their story live!


2. Quiz: “Did you follow this summer’s film news?”

Summer is synonymous with the release of anticipated movies and series! A quick and easy way to stay connected with your users in September is to launch a quiz to test their cinema knowledge. Be creative by including GIFs, emojis, videos, songs and images in your questions and dare participants to give the best of themselves. 


3. Video contest: “September’s fitness challenge”

September is the new January. The perfect time to start new resolutions, right after summer. Why not launch a fitness challenge via a video contest? The idea: participants need to repeat a series of exercises as fast as possible to win a gym membership. 

Or something even more accessible: participants need to explain by video why they deserve to win the gym membership. In this case, you’ll just need to specify the criteria you will use to determine the winner or winners.


4. Checklist: “Checklist to survive September”

Post-summer depression. It may not sound familiar, but it’s real. Help your audience beat the end-of-summer blues. We have imagined a checklist with things to do to survive September. The perfect opportunity to highlight your products and services or your partners’. 


Back-to-school ideas based on international days

If you have downloaded our marketing calendar (if you haven’t, you can find it here), you must have seen the thousands of events and international days happening during the year. For September, we have selected two international days you can capitalise on.

1. Photo editor: “World beard day”

Haven’t tried our improved photo editor yet? Now is the perfect time to do so! Launch a photo contest with our photo editor tool and add frames that match the spirit of your brand (or your partners’!). An example is worth a thousand words, try it yourself with the live campaign below ⬇

2. Jackpot: “World tourism day”

Summer never ends! With world tourism day happening on September 27th, you have one more reason to enable your users to travel to a place they have always wanted to visit. And you can do so by creating a jackpot in the shape of your choice. Participants start the machine and immediately know if they have won or lost. 

Back-to-school ideas directly from our customers 

1. Decathlon: “Happy kids wheel”

With this campaign, Decathlon found an easy way to celebrate kids. They created a wheel of fortune, luck, joy, sport and art, as they called it, to win a place among the many activities they propose! To spin the wheel, children had to participate with one of their parents and enter their contact details. 


2. LolaLiza: “Dance with us”

LolaLiza invited consumers to dance with them for back-to-school. The fashion brand launched a catcher game where participants had to catch a maximum of disco balls and party clothes while avoiding the bombs. The prize? Vouchers to be the most beautiful to go dancing! 


And even more back-to-school ideas… 

Haven’t found what you’re looking for? Still looking for THE idea to make your back-to-school marketing campaigns stand out from the crowd? Well, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are all our articles you can read to get even more back-to-school ideas be inspired for your marketing campaigns: 

  1. 12 back-to-school marketing campaign ideas
  2. 12 interactive ideas for your back-to-school and back-to-business marketing
  3. 10 back-to-school marketing campaign ideas that will make the difference