Calgary Co-op’s mealtime play-by-play

Who: Calgary Co-op, with Alberta agency Daughter for creative, and Vovia for media.

What: A new campaign that playfully positions Calgary Co-op as the “unofficial sponsor of everyday at-home food and beverage moments.” It’s part of what vice-president of marketing and member experiences Penny McTaggart Cowan describes as a “refreshed” approach to the company’s creative after hiring Daughter as its new agency earlier this year.

When & Where: The campaign launched in mid-September and runs through Oct. 27 across TV, social and digital (including influencer marketing), radio and out-of-home. The media elements are being supported by in-store activations and flyer promotions.

Why: The campaign is addressing multiple objectives, beginning with building the brand but also focusing on traditional retail priorities like products and price. One of the key objectives, said McTaggart Cowan, is ensuring that the company remains relevant to younger consumers in order to ensure long-term success.

How: The creative is focused on linking Calgary Co-op with the joyous everyday moments that have become so important over the past 18 months.

It is anchored by a series of TV and radio spots featuring Nick Heath, a British rugby commentator who became famous during the pandemic for his #LifeCommentary series of videos, in which he provided play-by-play for a series of mundane events such as women pushing strollers in the park, men playing soccer, and people crossing the street.

“His commentary on those everyday moments was so incredibly charming, with an understated tone that had the seriousness of golf but with levity,” said McTaggart Cowan. “When he did the read it felt very natural and engaging. It has the levity that we wanted, which we feel is key to having that appeal to younger consumers.”

The anchor TV spot, “Hosts With the Most,” features Heath providing commentary as a young couple prepare for a dinner party with their future in-laws, with a play-by-play account of everything from the plating to the placement of wine glasses. “That should secure husband material’s place at the holiday invitationals,” Heath concludes.

One radio spot promoting the company’s wine and spirits features Heath providing play-by-play on the opening of a bottle of wine at a dinner party (“he’s broken the cork”), while a second radio spot is dedicated to the “When is dinner ready finals,” with Heath providing a breakdown of mom preparing dinner for her children “Hangry” and “Growth spurt” (listen to both spots below).

The plan is to employ the creative platform across the company’s various business units (which include alcohol and fuel) and various food and drink occasions. “There’s a massive amount of elasticity in the creative strategy that allows us to call out the unique aspects of our lines of business while being cohesive,” said McTaggart Cowan.

And we quote: “The world has changed, and we want our members to celebrate and embrace the importance of everyday moments, letting them know that we believe those day-to-day moments, experiences and gatherings really matter.” — Penney McTaggart Cowan, VP, marketing and member experiences, Calgary Co-op

Chris Powell