Giant Tiger’s unique message about unique gifts for the holidays

Who: Giant Tiger Stores Limited, with John St. for creative and strategy, Someplace Nice for production, BITT / 1stAveMachine for animation, Pirate Toronto for audio, and Wavemaker for media.

What: “Gifts That Say More. For Less,” a quirky holiday campaign that puts the emphasis on the discount retailer as a destination for unique and unexpected gifts, rather than low prices.

When & Where: The campaign is live now, running on TV (two 15-second spots), out-of-home and digital / social.

Why: While Giant Tiger is well known for its low prices, its fans also love that it has such an eclectic assortment of products. “It’s like this world of discovery, where you don’t know if that exists anywhere else but here, and you have a bit of that feeling: what will you find next,” said Jamie Marcovitch, John St.’s executive creative director.

But those brand fans skew older and more suburban. This year, Giant Tiger wanted to reach younger consumers to let them know it was a place to get unique and original gifts.

In the past, the emphasis has been on flyers and creative that did not have the unique voice befitting such a unique shopping experience, said Marcovitch. “There’s something unique and distinct… about the experience there,” he said. “I don’t know the previous campaigns have really tapped into that quite as much.”

How: The priority for the agency was to come up with something that was for the holidays, but did not look like any other holiday campaign. There’s nothing wrong with sparkling lights and families gathered around a Christmas tree, said Marcovitch. “But that just gives you the same feeling as other retailers at this time of year.”

They needed a campaign that looked and felt different, while still delivering the message about the uniqueness of the shopping experience. “We wanted to make it stand out in a way that looked wonderful, wild, surprising, quirky, different and almost embody the spirit of being inside a Giant Tiger,” he said.

For the TV creative, that meant gnomes and unicorn slippers on Giant Tiger shelves that come to life and sing Christmas carols, complete with lyrics about getting unique gifts at Giant Tiger. “We wanted to create a fun look and feel, and the animation company we worked with really embraced that. There’s a 2D mixed-media, lo-fi-on-purpose kind of style,” said Marcovitch.

Out of home and social retains that same quirky sensibility and bright, fresh colour scheme, but with a wider selection of products and speech bubbles to deliver the messaging, rather than the songs used in the TV spots.

And we quote: “The amazing thing is that you never know what you’ll find in a Giant Tiger. Our aisles are filled with unique items that will charm and captivate both gift givers and receivers… We wanted to stand out from the sea of twinkly lights consumers always see this time of year. And to do that, we realized all we needed to do was bring our product to life. Literally.” —Joey Diaz, executive vice-president, chief merchant, Giant Tiger Stores Limited

David Brown