Canadian Tire perks up its loyalty program with subscription version

Who: Canadian Tire, with Publicis for strategy and creative; Partners for production (directed by Michael Downing); and Veritas for media and influencer relations.

What: “Triangle Select” a new subscription level for the retailer’s loyalty program, launched with new advertising by Publicis.

When & Where: Canadian Tire has been rolling out Select since January, with in-store marketing introduced last month, followed by a full launch and mass campaign beginning March 12. It is running for four weeks across TV and paid digital, along with national media and influencer outreach.

Why: Because as Amazon proved with Prime, consumers will pay to shop with a brand in exchange for perks and rewards. In this case, the cost is $89+ for a year, and members get bonus CT Money (Canadian Tire’s loyalty point system) for purchases across the entire Canadian Tire Corporation portfolio (SportChek, Marks, Party City etc.). They also receive some free shipping, as well as a welcome gift worth $50 and six months of Crave for new sign-ups.

Canadian Tire transitioned its iconic Canadian Tire paper money loyalty program into the more modern digital version Triangle in 2018. It had 11.3 million members at the end of 2022, and had been testing the paid version with enhanced rewards.

How: In terms of positioning the program, Canadian Tire says it has so many perks, it “pays for itself.”

“In our beta test of Triangle Select, the average member’s annual incremental earnings through select-specific bonuses were more than three times the subscription fee,” said Jason Blanchette, Canadian Tire’s senior vice-president, loyalty and customer insights.

The launch ad presented a unique challenge to the agency, said Vini Dalvi, Publicis executive creative director. “We wanted to effectively convey all the consumer benefits that make this program exceptional,” he said. “Our goal was to make sure that our communication strategy did not overshadow them, but instead created a compelling story that would captivate our audience.”

The anchor TV spot features a Canadian Tire associate conspiratorially informing a slightly confused customer about the benefits of Select. “A new premium subscription program with so many perks,” says a voiceover, “it pays for itself—and then some.”

We conceptualized a film idea and created a character that could convey all the necessary information while maintaining a cohesive and entertaining storyline,” said Dalvi. “We were fortunate to have Michael Downing on board as our director, and his exceptional work with the actors helped us maintain a good rhythm throughout the film, resulting in a successful and entertaining piece of work.”

David Brown