Staples has launched its largest marketing campaign in three years as it aims to become the destination for kids’ back-to-school equipment.

A TV ad will air this Sunday and will run until the end of August, following the launch of the first instalment in cinemas last week. The campaign also encompasses radio, digital and print as the retailer aims to fight back against the supermarkets.

The campaign, which features a set of characters called the Splat family, is one of the first major initiatives from Staples UK and Portugal boss Carlos Maia, who joined the UK business in March. Maia was inspired to launch the major back-to-school campaign here following success with a similar initiative in the Portuguese business.

Staples head of retail marketing Louise Barber said it wants to be “king” in the sector. She said: “Retail is competitive for back-to-school sales.

“Research found that people shop in the bigger supermarkets for convenience but we want to make sure they recognise that they can come for us for value, quality and choice and that we’ll make it worth your while.”

She added: “It’s about building the customer’s trust. This campaign is about telling them they won’t be disappointed.”

Barber said cinema advertising “could be incredible” for Staples, as it is airing its ad within the trailers of six of the biggest family films this summer.

She added that since the cinema ads aired last week the retailer had seen negative footfall turn positive across stores.

Staples has installed “colourful” shop-in-shops for the back-to-school range across its 112 stores and a ‘pick and mix’ area for customers to put together their stationery sets. It is also offering three for two promotions. 

Barber declined to say how much Staples had invested in the campaign.