Can Amy Poehler save Best Buy?


Fresh off rave reviews for her Golden Globes co-hosting duties, Amy Poehler is about to tackle a more daunting task –- the Super Bowl ad for the troubled Best Buy chain.

The comedian and actress, who scored what was probably the most oft-repeated line of the Golden Globes fest (it’s at about the 1-minute, 50-second mark of the opening), will be the star of a 30-second ad for the electronics chain during the first quarter of the game, according to the Associated Press.

“Amy is this comedic everyperson who can make things simple,” said Scott Durchslag, president of Best Buy’s online and global e-commerce. “And Best Buy is trying to accomplish the same thing — making technology simple.”


Simple? That’s the message?

Well, maybe after last year -- which was no laughing matter for Best Buy -- the chain is waxing nostalgic for simpler times when it was not being crushed by online competitors.

For the third quarter of 2012, the company reported a loss of $10 million, compared to a profit of $156 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

Also during 2012, Chief Executive Brian Dunn stepped down after it was revealed that he had a personal relationship with an employee. Company founder Richard Schulze, who also left in the wake of the messy affair, later made moves to try to take back the chain.

There was some brighter news at the end of the year -- holiday sales at Best Buy were only slightly lower than in 2011, and that was better than many analysts had expected. Zacks Equity Research, for one, upped the company’s stock from under-perform to neutral.

But another gaffe came this month when Best Buy offered $50 off purchases of $100 or more if the buyer paid with a Mastercard. The chain, however, forgot to exclude some items -- most notably gift cards -- said Business Insider.

The result was a buyers’ feeding frenzy of getting $100 gift cards at half price, until the company sent out a correction on the sale policy.

It at least seems that when it came to the Super Bowl ad, Best Buy left the comedy to Poehler.

“She had a lot of creative control,” the Associated Press quoted Durchslag as saying. “And I’m really glad we did it that way because we got to a place we never could have gotten to on our own.”


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