Cadillac Fairview’s new beginnings

The shopping centre company taps into the desire for reinvention around back-to-school season.

London Calling Down to Earth

September often comes with the best of intentions for the new school year, usually with the desire for a fresh look.

Tapping into that feeling, Cadillac Fairview has launched a new back-to-school campaign called “#WhoWillYouBe,” asking shoppers to share their new look for the year, based on inspirations from the shopping centre company, which has 20 malls across Canada.

Working with Toronto-based Traffik, CF created several tableau images with different fashion looks (such as “boho chic” and “sport normcore”), using products curated from stores that are in its malls. Now, the images are installed in CF shopping centres across Canada, with a cut-out for shoppers to place their head, “try on” the looks and snap a photo to share on social media for a chance to win a CF gift card.

CF is also running videos on social media, created by Notch Video, that include interviews with real shoppers at its locations about who they want to be – not only this year, but beyond.

“The main insight that drove ‘#WhoWillYouBe’ was this idea that back-to-school is really like New Year’s when you think about what it means for kids,” says Craig Flannagan, VP of consumer marketing at Cadillac Fairview. “This is a pretty formative time when [students are] asking themselves that question,” he says. “That’s what we wanted to not only ask Canadians, but also simplify for our consumers,” by focusing on clothing in particular, he adds.

While back-to-school has always been a key retail time for CF’s shopping centres, this is the first time a fully- integrated, phase program has been implemented. CF based its campaign around its own internal data and consumer research from Google, targeting parents’ and students’ different stages of their back-to-school shopping experience.

For example, 83% of customers said they research before they shop (based on a June Google Consumer Surveys report), but 87% said they plan to still shop in-store. To target those researchers and the early-bird shoppers (6% who shop in June and 10% in July), CF – working with North Strategic – began seeding the “#WhoWillYouBe” tableau images on social media, online and on its mobile app.

Now, to reach the 75% of more traditional August shoppers, the push is more aggressive, with the in-mall installations, social media contest and videos. A PR push also includes TV segments and editorial content with designer and stylist Christine Dovey  discussing back-to-school shopping tips and tricks throughout the rest of the month.