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Back Market Launches New Global Campaign That Takes Aim at Big Tech’s ‘New Is Better’ Myth

Back Market Launches New Global Campaign That Takes Aim at Big Tech’s ‘New Is Better’ Myth

Back Market Launches New Global Campaign That Takes Aim at Big Tech’s ‘New Is Better’ Myth
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Back Market, the leading global marketplace for refurbished devices, launched ‘Let Them Buy New’ – a provocative new international campaign that calls ‘BS’ on Big Tech’s obsession with creating a need for new products, a wasteful cycle that has dramatic consequences for humans and the planet. The irreverent campaign parodies Big Tech’s marketing ploys to challenge the accepted norm of buying new tech every time, to question a consumer bias for new, and to show that refurbished devices are a high quality, more affordable, and more eco-friendly choice.

The Back Market ‘Let Them Buy New’ brand platform and creative, developed in collaboration with independent creative strategy company Gus, sets out to reframe the industry’s definition of tech innovation, demonstrating that the most innovative thing to do might not be buying the new thing at all. The campaign is underpinned by the brand’s challenger roots and its focus on building a mainstream societal shift toward a circular economy. Apple and the tech industry at large has helped contribute to the 50 million metric tons of E-waste produced each year, which is the largest growing waste stream globally and accounts for 70% of toxic waste.

The campaign launched with a subversive activation that poked at the industry’s “leak culture” on one of the biggest tech moments of the year: Apple’s iPhone 15 keynote on September 12. In the days leading up to the event, Back Market teased the “R” – a top-secret, new phone that promised to be more sustainable and more affordable than all that came before it. Confidential product documents were “left by mistake” in high-traffic areas around Cupertino; tech and TikTok influencers received mysterious locked boxes containing the “R” prototype; and high-profile outdoor ads and billboards in New York City, Paris, Madrid, and London, added further speculation to fuel the Apple rumour mill. On the day of Apple’s keynote, the boxes unlocked and the outdoor ads switched over to reveal the truth: the prototype was a refurbished iPhone and the “R” stood for refurbished all along. DCX Growth Accelerator and Superbloom helped to produce the stunt.

“‘Let Them Buy New’ represents Back Market’s refusal to accept the status quo of big tech, and an invitation to join us. The problem of E-waste—now the fastest growing form of waste in the world—is one we can all directly affect by choosing circularity,” said Daniel Brill, executive creative director, Back Market. “But we also know that you’re not going to convince anyone by wagging a finger. So every part of the creative is infused with personality, eccentricity, and galaxy-brain level subversion, or what we call at Back Market, ‘sabotage.’”

The ‘Let Them Buy New’ campaign continues with a series of international TV spots, which were shot with SNL mainstay Mike Diva and parody the tech industry’s timeworn marketing tropes – the device porn, the cool crowd, the empty promises, and soulless lifestyle visuals. The onslaught of cliches builds to a fever pitch, holding a mirror to our implicit acceptance of Big Tech’s propaganda and giving permission to break free from the cycle.

“Back Market is a major player worldwide, leading the way in the refurbished industry. However, in America, there’s a lack of brand awareness. Interestingly, the cultural inclination towards buying used cars, clothes, and vintage furniture is evident. So, why not consider refurbished tech?” said Spencer LaVallee, co-founder and creative director at Gus. “Through ‘Let Them Buy New,’ our aim is to spark the idea that consumers actually have a choice. It’s exhilarating to challenge an entire industry’s widespread charade and say, ‘You totally have the option to take the red pill.'”

pple is far from the sole contributor to the harmful culture of “new.” Products from Big Tech companies can last for years, and annual updates to new models can be minor. Choosing a refurbished phone can prevent up to 92% fewer CO2 emissions, 89% less e-waste, and 86% and 91% less usage of water and raw materials, respectively. With new tech products becoming more expensive each year, refurbished devices are an affordable option costing up to 70% less without compromising on quality.

Back Market has prevented 1 million tons of carbon emission (CO2e) from entering the atmosphere.