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OfficeMax Takes ‘Schooled’ In-Store

By Aug 22, 2006

OfficeMax brings its back-to-school TV show into stores this week as part of its “New Year, New You” campaign.

OfficeMax is offering shoppers a DVD of Schooled, its Punk’d-style TV show that features pop star Jesse McCartney pitching in on a prank on a class of incoming high school freshmen. OfficeMax created the show with Disney-owned ABC Family; it aired on the cable network on Aug. 17.

OfficeMax is giving away the DVD as a gift with purchases of $50 or more. The DVD includes the hourlong show, behind-the-scene clips and songs from McCartney’s album Right Where You Want Me, which launches Sept. 19.

Schooled followed the eighth-grade graduates of Tuckahoe (NY) Middle School as they were brought back to school on a Saturday in July to take a test to prove they were ready for high school. Kids who don’t pass the test are sent to “eighth-and-a-half grade,” the principal tells the kids in the show. Questions run along the lines of: “Can you point to your pituitary gland?” and “If you were an animal, what would you be?” (One girl who wants to be a bird is asked to demonstrate; she flaps meekly around the room.) Their payoff: a surprise live concert by McCartney in the school gym.

OfficeMax’s advertising agency of record, DDB Chicago, created the idea and negotiated partnerships with Disney-owned ABC Family, Google Video (which showcases Schooled at Video.google.com/schooled/html) and Hollywood Records, Disney’s label that produces McCartney’s album. Los Angeles-based Mulholland Drive Entertainment helped with show production.

The DVD offer supports Itasca, IL-based OfficeMax’s back-to-school merchandising that centers on a Creation Station section that lets kids customize their notebooks in-store before they buy. Kids choose a cover style, paper (lined or grid) and dividers or pockets to create their own notebook. A fundraising overlay lets PTOs and other groups host Build-a-Book parties where kids create notebooks to sell to family and friends for $5.99 each, with 10% of each sale going to the school group.

OfficeMax also has drafted Cube Chic author Kelley Moore for locker-decorating ideas that appear in-store and online.

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