Hilroy going all out with back-to-school marketing

The Canadian manufacturer has launched its first website and lined up eye-catching TV opps.

Hilroy debuted its first online marketing initiative on Wednesday. The interactive website contains product information on all the brands Hilroy markets, as well as games and contests. Visitors can interact with products, ask questions and sign up to receive updates and offers.

The Toronto-HQ’d company’s other back-to-school marketing efforts encompass a variety of television-based tactics, including becoming the exclusive school products sponsor for the Canadian premiere of High School Musical 2 on the Family Channel. To leverage this, Hilroy will advertise during the Aug. 17 premiere of the film, as well as during other Family Channel programs and on www.family.ca leading up to the broadcast.

The creative for these commercials – and for the broadcasts mentioned below – was developed by Unionville, Ont.-based Ryan Partnership Canada, and all the media buys were done by Toronto’s Genesis Media.

There are two spots skedded for six-week flights from Aug. 6 to Sept. 16 on five channels: MuchMusic, MTV, Teletoon, YTV and The Family Channel. A new commercial promotes Five Star sound-enabled school supplies that work with any MP3 player, portable DVD player or laptop. Launched earlier this year, each one features lightweight, small-profile speakers available in binders, desk cases and backpacks. This spot features an online promotion (www.fivestarsound.ca) for chances to win more than $5,000 in prizes including electronics, back-to-school packs and gift cards.

The other spot, which ran last year during back-to-school season, includes updated product imagery for Hilroy’s Five Star Flex notebook. This commercial also features a promotion (www.fivestarflex.ca).

Additionally, Hilroy and the Family Channel will host a contest (at www.family.ca) for chances to win a trip for four to see a Broadway show in New York City. There will also be thousands of dollars in prizes to be won on www.hilroy.ca.

Hilroy will also be repeating last year’s successful partnership with MuchMusic, promoting its Five Star products on the channel and its French counterpart, MusiquePlus. For one week in August, the Five Star brand will be featured on Much on Demand, with viewers and audience members interacting with the products and being eligible to win them, plus cash prizes and other giveaways.

And there’s even a tie-in with video game advertising in some Microsoft Xbox 360 game titles. The company’s brands and products will be seen in more than 15 games, including Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland, Need for Speed: Carbon and Transformers.

All in all, says Hilroy’s director of marketing, Samantha Hindmarch, ‘Not only are we reaching our target audience of teens and tweens, we are providing them with fun, interactive things to do, and incorporating all of our brands into the activities and events they already enjoy.’