CASSIES Bronze: President’s Choice gets personal

The private label casts its chairman in a food-supporting role.

BRONZE: Packaged Goods Food/Other

Situation Analysis With competitors nipping at the heels of President’s Choice, it became increasingly important to bolster the brand and ensure that it remained the leader in the category. In 2007, the “Chairman Campaign” – featuring Galen Weston Jr. as spokesperson – focused on corporate social responsibility. This was successful, but increased pressure from competitive brands and big national brands meant the campaign had to evolve.

Strategy & Insight Back in the ’80s, then-president Dave Nichol endeared President’s Choice to many Canadians, bringing them affordable tastes from around the world. The ads were so effective that Nichol’s name continued to come up occasionally in consumer research, even though he left the company more than 15 years ago. However, all indicators showed Weston was also an extremely successful spokesperson and it was hard to ignore the fact that the brand’s DNA was in food. So the objective was to re-focus on food, using Galen to maximum effect.

Execution The original idea was to use scripted commercials with actors, but this quickly gave way to live TV spots – shot in various locations around Toronto – capturing Weston interacting with real people. Hundreds of citizens got to try out the newest President’s Choice products. To date there have been over 70 of these spots.

Results Total sales of the President’s Choice brand have increased year over year since the “Chairman Campaign” debuted, with the most significant growth from 2010 to 2011. And the President’s Choice brand is now ranked number two, ahead of all but one national brand, according to Ipsos Research.

Cause & Effect Research confirms the Weston campaign increased propensity to purchase the President’s Choice products, as well as increased consumers’ interest in the brand. Every ad tested drove motivation to buy at levels significantly above norm.


Client: Loblaw Company
VP, brand marketing & marketing services: Allan Lindsay
Senior director, brand marketing: Ryan Brown
Senior director of marketing, strategic content: Guylaine Lessard
SVP, marketing: Uwe Stueckmann
Senior director, brand marketing: Trinh Tham
Agency: Bensimon Byrne
CCO: David Rosenberg
ACD: John McDougall
VP group account directors: Janice Boduch, James Grant
Account director: Charlotte Osborne
Director of production services: Michelle Pilling