Roots dresses up with Douglas Coupland

The Vancouver-based artist and writer launches his own eclectic clothing line for Roots called 'Canada Goes Electric.'

Vancouver-based artist and writer Douglas Coupland has launched his own eclectic line for Roots called “Canada Goes Electric.” The brightly coloured clothing, accessories and home decor items were initially sold on a Facebook “pop-up shop,” giving Roots’ 15,000 fans first dibs at the limited-edition line, which made its in-store debut on July 8.
“All of this is an effort to further establish Roots as a pre-eminent digital retailer in Canada,” says James Connell, senior director of e-commerce, digital marketing and new media for Toronto-based Roots Canada. “It’s not only about social media and marketing – it’s also about being an online retailer, which we feel that the Canadian market needs more excellence in.”
Print ads in Vancouver and Toronto weeklies, wild postings and OOH promoted the launch of the new line, but new media was the main promotional thrust of the campaign, handled internally by Roots and Coupland.
Videos, including two teasers created by filmmakers Anthony Green and Matthew Budman, son of Roots co-founder Michael Budman, were released on a Roots X Douglas Coupland microsite (, as well as Coupland’s YouTube channel and on iTunes. All are outlets the writer has used to promote his previous books The Gum Thief and Generation A.
“We’re reinterpreting what we’ve always done in a very different way, leveraging Coupland’s prominence in the literary world,” says Connell. “They’re products that you wouldn’t necessarily come to Roots and expect to be on the shelf, so it’s sort of a reinterpretation of a traditional product.”