Is Irving’s name game a winner?

Aardvark Amenities and Skip to the Loo just didn't cut it as names for St. John, N.B.-based Irving Oil's new breed of convenience stores. The winning moniker? Bluecanoe, supported by a campaign with the tagline 'Introducing a store so fresh, only one name could describe it.'

Aardvark Amenities and Skip to the Loo just didn’t cut it as names for St. John, N.B.-based Irving Oil’s new breed of convenience stores. The winning moniker? Bluecanoe, supported by a campaign with the tagline ‘Introducing a store so fresh, only one name could describe it.’

St. John’s, Nfld.-based agency Target Marketing handled the campaign’s creative. Three 60-second spots feature one man earnestly describing Bluecanoe (fresh products, clean store environment, great customer service), while another man interjects with ridiculous store name suggestions like ‘The Deli Lama’ and ‘Foodtopia.’

The campaign, which is running in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and also includes three print ads, DM and POP, launched in July and wraps up in December. Target also mailed wastepaper baskets filled with the rejected names and logos out to media outlets. The ploy has worked: There’s been a radio remote out covering almost all of the new store launches thus far.

POP includes employee T-shirts, and free temporary tattoos for customers.

We asked CDs from across Canada whether this campaign should have been rejected: Chris Staples, partner and co-CD at Vancouver-based Rethink; Judy John, managing partner/CCO at Toronto-based Leo Burnett; and Shawn King, VP/CD at Dartmouth, N.S.-based Extreme Group.

Concept

CS: I liked this campaign, although there is a bit of a logic problem. The whole campaign pokes fun at silly names, before unveiling Bluecanoe, which is kind of…

a silly name.

SK: I’m not sure I understand the link between the [tagline and the name,] but I do think the idea is good here. Highlight the new

name by demonstrating what it isn’t. Not an entirely ‘fresh’

idea, but it seems to work well in this category.

JJ: If this is a teaser campaign whose sole purpose is to get the name out there, then it does that. However, I found myself liking the idea more than the executions.

Radio

CS: Target has always used 60-second radio to great effect. These made me smile – although I had a tough time understanding the funny guy’s voice in some spots.

SK: No doubt, the best part of this campaign. The radio is quite funny and manages to hit on many attributes of the store without sounding forced. A nice job in a very tough medium.

JJ: They’re not as well written or funny (I wish the rejected names were funnier) as Irving’s previous radio efforts, which is probably why I wish they were 30 seconds [instead of 60].

Print

CS: These are less successful than the radio, which gives more detail on why Bluecanoe is different. The copy in the final ad could have been a sentence or two longer.

SK: I’m impressed the client was okay with the rejected names leading the official one. A wonderful sell job here. The rejected names are pretty funny. But, I feel the art direction of the ads is just a little flat.

POP

CS: I would have saved the money on this stuff – especially the temporary tattoos. Last time I looked, the only people wearing temporary tattoos were wearing diapers three years ago.

SK: A great way to have some fun with this idea. I’m sure it excited the staff and gave the customers a chuckle.

JJ: Good idea to reinforce the campaign in-store.

PR (wastepaper baskets sent to media outlets)

CS: Very funny, very effective media ploy. Nicely done.

The creds:

Client:

Irving Oil: Tim Guen, senior brand manager

Agency:

Target Marketing: Brian Sheppard, creative group head; Tom Murphy, CD; Kurt Mills, copywriter; Matthew Perrier, AD; Mark Peters, Cindy Hall, Andreas Doerig, account managers

Production:

Pirate Radio: Terry O’Reilly, director;

Jane Rowan, producer