Roots keeps it real for Canada Day

For the first time, the brand is using Facebook to lead a campaign and featuring everyday Canadians.

Roots Canada is reaching out to its customers in a brand new way and with a bit more patriotism than usual.
To promote its Canada Day apparel line, the made-in-Canada clothing brand sent out an open casting call to young people all over the country via Facebook. They were encouraged to send in a photo and a quote on why Canada is important to them for the chance to be one of eight to win a trip to Ottawa and participate in a photo shoot, ultimately providing the creative for the in-store, print and online campaign. The print and online ads will appear in the Globe and Mail, slotted into an annual buy featuring bi-weekly ad placements. 
This is a new direction for Roots – which developed the effort, including media buying and planning, entirely in-house – as it’s the first time the brand’s used Facebook to lead a campaign or featured everyday Canadians in its promotions. Typically its ads feature prominent athletes (which has been the case in past Roots Canada Day campaigns) or professional models.  
“We felt that it was the easiest and fastest way to reach out to our community as well as engage them further, because these people are actively now tweeting and participating on our Facebook page,” says James Connell, VP e-commerce and marketing, Roots Canada. “Also, it is a Canada Day campaign and we wanted it to encompass real people who look like our customers.”
Through a partnership with BlackBerry, the winners were given Torch smartphones and Playbooks to share their experiences via Twitter, using a #rootscasting hash tag, and on Facebook where behind-the-scenes photos from the shoot were posted. A video housed on YouTube and on the Roots Canada website also documented the contestants’ trip to Ottawa and behind-the-scenes footage.
Roots is waiting to see the response to the campaign before making any decisions about executing similar initiatives in the future.

advertiser/agency: Roots 
CD: Stephanie Holden 
photographer: Rylan Perry