“Until Steve Jobs died, Best Buy Co. was plotting a familiar course for its Super Bowl ad: hiring a celebrity spokesman,” Chris Burritt reports for Bloomberg. “Then all the tributes poured in after the Apple Inc. founder’s Oct. 5 death, and Best Buy’s U.S. marketing chief, Drew Panayiotou, realized Silicon Valley inventors are today’s stars.”

“Instead of heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne and teen heartthrob Justin Bieber, who starred in last year’s ad, Panayiotou opted to hire innovators who could personify Best Buy’s selling premise: that no one knows more about gadgets and how they work together than the chain’s blue-shirt sales force,” Burritt reports. “The retailer is trying to attract U.S. consumers enduring unemployment and weak wage growth. Retail sales will advance 3.4 percent to $2.53 trillion this year, compared with a gain of 4.7 percent in 2011, according to the Washington-based National Retail Federation. Best Buy may grow even more slowly, with analysts surveyed by Bloomberg projecting a revenue increase of 2.6 percent in the fiscal year that ends Feb. 25, followed by a gain of less than 1 percent the following year.”

Burritt reports, “The Super Bowl commercial, airing in the first quarter of the Feb. 5 game, will spotlight inventors such as Philippe Kahn, who developed one of the first camera phones. Another is Kevin Systrom, who developed a free photo-sharing application called Instagram introduced on Apple’s app store in 2010. ‘They may not be at the same level as Steve Jobs, but they created some amazing stuff,’ said Panayiotou.”

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