Zany Zellers spots reinforce tactical shift

With a tongue-in-cheek nod to Regis Philbin's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Zellers Canada has launched the largest single promotion in its history. The 69-year-old retailer used the March 26 broadcast of the Academy Awards to launch 'Of Course I...

With a tongue-in-cheek nod to Regis Philbin’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Zellers Canada has launched the largest single promotion in its history.

The 69-year-old retailer used the March 26 broadcast of the Academy Awards to launch ‘Of Course I Want to be a Millionaire’, a contest that offers Club Z members – mostly moms – the chance to win a million dollars.

The promotional campaign is part of Zellers’ ‘tactical shift’ toward more consumer promotions, says Julian O’Connell, the company’s director of sales promotion.

The contest is being supported with three national television spots, created by Toronto-based Ogilvy & Mather.

‘We wanted to get people excited and do it in a way that was a little different than your traditional promotional spot with things like floating dollar bills and huge dollar signs,’ says Patrick Gladney, account director at Ogilvy & Mather. ‘We wanted to do it in a way that was consistent with the rest of the Zellers’ work, which is trying to make an emotional connection with moms…to make moms feel as if we understand their lives.’

The campaign demonstrates, in a hilarious fashion, how a million dollars might make mom’s life easier. Thus, each of the 30-second spots features mom’s new executive assistant, ‘Brad’, whose sole purpose in life is to help mom out by super-managing the family, the neighbours and the dog. In one execution, Brad preps the family on what they should talk about at dinner – ‘happy-talk conversation’ – in anticipation of mom’s arrival.

By leveraging the popularity of the recent Millionaire craze in a fashion that’s consistent with Zellers’ image advertising, the promotion has served to make Canada’s largest loyalty program – with 10 million members – newsworthy again, O’Connell says. The contest, which is open only to Club Z members, is designed to recruit new members and encourage the participation of existing members – the more a member spends, the better the pool of awards for which they are eligible.

In addition to television, the ‘Of Course I Want to Be a Millionaire’ contest is also being promoted through point-of-purchase materials and more than 15 million scan cards to be distributed in-store and through newspapers across the country.


Client: Zellers

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather

Account Director: Patrick Gladney

Creative Directors: Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk

Producer: Laurie Maxwell

Copywriter: David Rosenberg

Art Director: Linda Carte

Planner: Anne Sutherland

Media: Television, point-of-purchase

Start Date: March 26

End Date: April 20

Zulu grows its team and makes a slate of promotions

A director of interactive production for Zulubot is among dozens of new faces and roles at the agency, in response to recent wins.
Zulu Alpha Kilo_New Zuligans

Toronto indie shop Zulu Alpha Kilo had made several new hires and promotions on the heels of new business and also organic growth from existing clients.

Zulu could not officially announce the account wins at this time.

However, it can report that Ece Inan, most recently at Toronto design and tech shop Array of Stars, has been named the agency’s new director of interactive production for Zulubot, the agency’s production arm. In the new role, Inan will lead AR, VR, voice and other digital innovation projects.

Also on the production side, James Graham, who has spent the last 17 years with Grip, has joined the agency as its studio director.

Zulu has also made numerous additions on the client services side, led by Michael Brathwaite, also from Grip, as account director.

It’s also announced a spate of new account supervisors, including Hayley Blackmore (from G Adventures), Risa Kastelic (from BT/A), Kara Oddi (also from BT/A), Emily Anzarouth (also from Grip), Chris Rosario (from FCB/Six) and Sarah Shiff (from Rethink).

In addition to the new hires (pictured above), the agency has also announced several promotions: Alyssa Guttman moves from account director to group account director, while Nina Bhayana, Michelle Fournier, Jenn Gaidola-Sobral and Erin McManus have all been promoted to account director, and Haley Holm to account supervisor. On the strategy team, strategists Carly Miller and Spencer MacEachern have both been promoted to strategy director, while Shaunagh Farrelly, who has been with Zulu for two years in a client service role, moves into a new role as a digital strategist.

In December, the shop also announced that Stephanie Yung would be returning to the agency after a stint in New York as its head of design. Recent wins the agency has been able to announce including work as AOR for the Ottawa Senators, as well as a new arrangement with existing client Consonant Skincare, setting up an in-house team to support growth after taking an equity stake in the company.

Zulu president Mike Sutton says it’s wonderful, in a new year, to welcome new faces and energy to the team and says the agency is fortunate to have had so many people across the agency step up to support its clients.

“Simply put, they were rock stars, and the promotions are very well deserved,” Sutton says.