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

In Brief: The Garden picks CDs to take on daily creative leadership

Plus, Naked names two new leaders of its own and Digital Ethos comes to Canada.

The Garden promotes two creative directors

ACDs Lindsay Eady and Francheska Galloway-Davis have taken over responsibility for day-to-day creative leadership at The Garden after being promoted to creative director roles.

The pair will also help develop the agency’s creative talent, formalizing mentorship and leadership activities they have been doing since joining the agency four and three years ago, respectively. In addition to creating the agency’s internship program, the pair have worked on campaigns for Coinsquare, FitTrack and “The Coke Challenge” campaign for DanceSafe.

Eady and Galloway-Davis will continue to report to The Garden’s co-founder and chief creative officer Shane Ogilvie, who is stepping back from daily creative duties to a more high-level strategic role, allowing him to focus on client relationships and business growth.

Naked Creative Consultancy names new creative and strategy leadership

Toronto’s Naked Creative Consultancy has hired Yasmin Sahni as its new creative director. She is taking over creative leadership from David Kenyon, who has been in the role for 10 years and is moving into a new role as director of strategy, leading the discipline at the agency.

Sahni is coming off of three years as VP and ECD at GTB’s Toronto office, where she managed all the retail, social and service creative for Ford Canada. She previously managed both Vice Media and Vice’s in-house ad agency Virtue.

Peter Shier, president of Naked, says Sahni’s hiring adds to its creative bench and capabilities, as well as a track record of mentorship, a priority for the company. Meanwhile, Kenyon’s move to the strategy side, he says, makes sense because of his deep knowledge of its clients, which have included Ancestry and The Globe and Mail.

Digital Ethos opens a Toronto office

U.K. digital agency Digital Ethos is pursuing new growth opportunities in North America by opening a new office in Toronto.

Though it didn’t disclose them, the agency has begun serving a number of North American clients, and CEO/founder Luke Tobin says the “time was right to invest in a more formal and actual presence in the area.” whose services include design, SEO, pay-per-click, social media, influencer and PR,

This year, the agency’s growth has also allowed it to open an office in Hamburg, Germany, though it also has remote staff working in countries around the world.

Moray Hickes was the company’s first North American hire as VP of sales, tasked with business development in the region.