Canada’s Christmas Store is back for a 9th year

Who: Canadian Tire, with Publicis for strategy and creative, Touché and the retailer’s in-house digital investment team for media.

What. The latest instalment in the retailer’s long-running holiday campaign “Canada’s Christmas Store,” which is now in its ninth year.

When & Where: The campaign launched on Nov. 7, running nationally through the holidays using two 30-second TV spots, social, digital and connected TV, as well as influencer partnerships.

Why: The campaign is intended to drive consumer awareness of the retailer as the country’s go-to destination for their Christmas needs—not just gifting, but also staples like home decor and lighting, said Irene Daley, Canadian Tire’s vice-president of strategic marketing.

Canadian Tire has enjoyed “tremendous success” with the “Canada’s Christmas Store” positioning, said Daley. “Canadians have come to identify us as the retailer that equips them for all their decorating, gifting and entertaining needs…we’ve continuously grown our top of mind awareness as Canada’s Christmas Store with a campaign that reinforces the spirit of the season in ways that are meaningful to Canadians.”

How: The campaign is built around a pair of 30-second spots, “Light it Up” and “Grandpa’s Gift,” each using gentle humour to showcase the breadth of holiday products available at Canadian Tire.

“We wanted to take the opportunity to create something more lighthearted for the whole family to enjoy, to bring life to that infectious spirit of the season,” said Daley.

“The two spots were created with our customers in mind, with an understanding how much goes into preparing for the season,” she said. “However, this year, we wanted to drive home that it’s not just about the one day, it’s about the enjoyment of getting there. We wanted to bring this notion to life through some fun storytelling.”

“Light it Up,” features two neighbours engaged in a good-natured but escalating battle to show who can best light up their home’s exterior for the holidays, with its in-house decor brands NOMA and CANVAS both showcased extensively throughout the spot.

Set on Christmas morning, “Grandpa’s Gift” features a young boy and his grandfather accidentally receiving each other’s gift—a Dyson vacuum for the boy, and a sled racer for grandpa, who turns out to be thrilled with his gift. The spot also features other brands available at Canadian Tire, including SodaStream and Dewalt. “The focus wasn’t on any one product or brand, but rather to showcase what we have to offer as the destination for all things Christmas,” said Daley.

The retailer has also created toy-specific videos to showcase Canadian Tire’s growing toy category. “[It] celebrates the magic and humour of that look on a child’s face when they open the exact toy they wanted—wide eyes and mouth agape in amazement,” said Daley. “As our toy category continues to grow, we wanted to showcase our breadth of brands we are offering for the holiday season.”

And we quote: “The holiday seasons evokes many emotions. We chose to tap into fun ones everybody can relate to: The competitive spirit people have when lighting up their houses, and the Christmas excitement that spreads to others. It is a playful, friendly, and emotional campaign we really enjoyed developing.” — Joanna Monteiro, chief creative officer, Publicis

Chris Powell