Office Depot, Inc.: What You Need. What You Need To Know. campaign

Kevin Teague


In 2001 Office Depot, Inc., prided itself as the world's largest seller of office furniture and second-largest supplier of office supplies after Staples, Inc. In addition to having a stronghold on the office-furniture market, the retailer sold art and engineering supplies, computer hardware and software, and printing and copying services. Except for the fact that it touted its office furniture slightly more than the competition, Office Depot's marketing strategy paralleled the rest of the office-supply industry. Office Depot, Staples, and OfficeMax relied heavily on back-to-school sales. To first attract parents who needed school supplies for their children and later to draw in small businesses, Office Depot released a campaign titled "What You Need. What You Need to Know."

The "What You Need. What You Need to Know" television, radio, and print campaign was created by BBDO New York in 2001. The campaign's budget was undisclosed, but according to the market research firm Nielsen Monitor-Plus, Office Depot spent $25 million on advertisement for the fourth quarter of 2002. The campaign initially aired television commercials suggesting that parents could improve their children's school success with the proper back-to-school supplies. After research showed that 80 percent of Office Depot's customers were purchasing supplies for small businesses, the campaign shifted in September 2003. Four new television spots told the stories of office workers whose work lives improved thanks to Office Depot. Near the end of 2003 the campaign also advertised Office Depot's exclusive line of Christopher Lowell office furniture. The campaign ended in December 2004.