Canadian Tire plays house

The retail co bought a house in Toronto and is now chronicling the DIY adventures of its anonymous inhabitants on a video web page.

Canadian Tire’s House of Innovation – a Toronto home purchased by the brand to digitally chronicle the DIY adventures of its anonymous inhabitants – recently got a shout-out from the podium of strategy’s Understanding Youth conference. Acknowledging it wasn’t youth-y per se, Virgin Mobile CMO Nathan Rosenberg flagged it as a smart example of a digital execution that worked, and kept him coming back.
The house and its frequently updated video web page,, created by Taxi’s Toronto office, is an effort to further build on Canadian Tire’s “Bring it On” strategy, says Sara Heller, strategic marketing manager, Canadian Tire. Looking to reach a target audience of young homeowners, the campaign documents the DIYers as they use Canadian Tire products. Viewers receive tips on how to fix up their own dwelling, from power cleaning a van to creating a more energy-efficient home. Visitors are encouraged to leave suggestions, providing a resource for more video ideas, says Heller.
“It’s just one more way to connect with our customers and give [them] what they want,” she says. “It’s all about helping Canadians prepare best for everyday life in Canada.”
House of Innovation is primarily promoted online, through banner ads on sites including YouTube, and as well as on the Yahoo, BV! Media and AOL networks. Another element of the MediaCom connection plan is a four-page insert into Canadian Tire flyers. The brand also promotes the site on its Facebook and Twitter pages.
With no end date in sight, the brand plans to sell the house once it is complete and donate the proceeds to its charity, Jumpstart.