I CANNOT believe you clicked on that headline! But rest assured; no endless clicking and credit card will be required to learn the “1 weird trick.” So let’s melt through the belly fat and get to it.

The reality: Back-to-school campaigns can be the most boring projects of the year. Back-to-college? Lots of options – will millennials want a futon or bed? Mac or PC? They will be picking out the clothes, thank you very much. It used to be so easy (and inexpensive) for parents.

But back-to-school is notebooks, calculators, pens/pencils, a new lunchbox to replace the moldy kitty one, new clothes (insert yawning emoticon here). But although the content ideas are kind of boring, the data is interesting, at least to people like us. Our data scientists have found that while brands focus on just two value points, price and convenience, audiences from most past campaigns have minimal demographic or psychographic concentration.

This is a costly mistake. You’ll need to branch out to compel those parents to buy from you instead of your competitors. So if you’re looking for influencers, you better have visibility into their audiences because you may not offer the most inexpensive school supplies. And buying from you may not be as easy as buying from Amazon. So that’s it. That’s the trick: it’s targeting the audiences with higher densities of shared interests or values around which you can create a captivating campaign.

Look at that – just one click and you’ve learned the “1 weird trick”! Grab yourself a chorizo breakfast taco with habanero sauce – because you are lit. Now, there are some brands who get it – let’s see how they used interests-driven campaigns to blow it up (or not).

Target didn’t create their BTS campaign; kids did. Kid-sourced. They fielded 130 storyline submissions and chose 7 students to help create the video. You can see how they did it here. One million views within a day or two; of course they knew their audience; the creators were the audience!


Staples traded on the popularity of Katy Perry and parents’ charitable inclinations with their #DonorsChoose campaign. Leveraging bloggers and social influencers with socially-minded audiences, they donated over $1m to classrooms and teachers.


Kleenex created a superb video and campaign around reducing the anxiety of kids going into middle school. Excellent production value, attention-grabbing content. This is actually a good learning example – why only 9,000 views? Care to take a guess???


Your creative team can come up with astonishingly captivating ideas. Your production team can produce polished, concise content. But if you don’t target an audience with sufficient density of that concept or value, you’re liable to end up disappointed.

The good news is that there are now tens of thousands of influencers with audiences specific to that psychographic you’re counting on. And remember to pay attention to demos, even though through better data analysis, they are becoming less important to achieving maximum engagement on your campaigns.

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