Future Shop is excited about stuff

The electronics retailer is repositioning its brand with 'Exciting Stuff,' a new campaign blending traditional and social media and test-targeting new audiences in Toronto.

In the wake of last year’s tough economic climate, Future Shop set out to not only examine what exactly it is that brings people into its stores, but what makes them keen to do so when so many other things are competing for their disposable income.

What they discovered – through quantitative and qualitative research – is that people like being in the store itself, taking advantage of its hands-on product retailing strategy and day-dreaming about owning the latest and greatest gadgets. Out of that research was born the new brand strategy.

The new campaign, ‘Exciting Stuff,’ launches Aug. 13 and includes TV, radio, print, cinema, online and social media in both English and French. Creative was handled by Cossette, social media by Rocket XL and media by Media Experts, all in Toronto.

The retailer is particularly enthusiastic about the creative execution of the TV spots, which blends live-action and animation, but also about its social media strategy, which is housed on a back-to-school specific microsite called Project.img.nation. On it, visitors are urged (by way of a contest incentive) to contribute to a ‘community art project’ by digitally copying an image ’tile’ from the site, with their work adding to a mystery digital mural. The entire mural image will not be revealed until the contest closes Sept. 9.

‘The brand positioning is all about imagination and possibilities,’ says Nikki Hellyer, director of marketing, Future Shop. ‘So we brought that to life through illustrations [via the social media contest] and then on TV through the animated world.’

The retailer is also taking a different approach for this campaign by using cinema advertising for the first time and by testing the Toronto market with a focus on ethnic media, she explains. On the multicultural media buy, which includes spots on Rogers’ Omni channels, as well as print ads in Cantonese newspapers Ming Pao and Sing Tao, Mandarin paper the World Journal and English-language, South-Asian targeted The Weekly Voice and India Journal. Radio station remotes are also a part of the media plan.

‘We’re going to try it out in Toronto and see if we should expand it to other markets as well,’ Hellyer says of the buy.

The campaign was launched to coincide with the back-to-school season, but the ‘Exciting Stuff’ theme will continue on indefinitely.