CASSIES Silver: Ivanhoe Cambridge encourages closet cleaning

The shopping centre owner increased Black Friday traffic, while getting consumers to make space for new purchases.

throwawaythursdayIMGEvents, Seasonal and Short-Term

Situation Analysis: Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year for Americans, had increasingly become a feature in Canadian stores with experts predicting that the weekend would soon surpass Boxing Day as the busiest shopping period of the year in Canada. Ivanhoé Cambridge, a Canada-based owner, manager and developer of shopping centres in urban areas, wanted to increase Black Friday traffic by 7% while avoiding the negative media coverage associated with fights at the check-out. Usual Black Friday promotions focused on extended hours and door-crasher pricing, coupled with “one hour only” in-stock product guarantees, which fed the mayhem and negative media coverage.

Insight & Strategy: The Black Friday core target was the savvy, deal-seeking Canadian woman aged 25 to 54, who was impulsive, indulgent and couldn’t resist a good bargain. Research within this target uncovered a prevailing sentiment of de-cluttering and simplification summarized as, “If something comes in, something must go out.” Hence, the best way to create need was to create space in the closet. This led to the idea of “Throwaway Thursday”: the day before Black Friday when consumers could make room (by donating items to a good cause) for new purchases from Ivanhoé Cambridge malls on Black Friday.

Execution: The traffic-driving component of the campaign, which started on Nov. 1, 2013, was a donation incentive (via the Canadian Diabetes Association), which encouraged consumers to come to the mall on Black Friday. Information cards and donation kits were handed out in shopping centres across the country prior to Black Friday, each containing a branded donation bag and stickers to place on larger items.

Staff wore “Throwaway Thursday” T-shirts to serve as walking billboards in the weeks leading up to the big day. The campaign was further communicated through the malls’ owned channels (in-mall signage, mall websites, e-newsletters and social spaces), as well as through paid communication, such as radio, OOH, print and standard banners geo-targeted to the properties’ local markets. PR helped in forming lineups around the country.

Results: Throwaway Thursday over-delivered on Ivanhoé Cambridge’s key objective for Black Friday, hitting a 23% average traffic increase among its 24 participating shopping centres nationally vs. the 7% target objective. The publicity was unprecedented for Ivanhoé Cambridge as the promotion was picked up by numerous national publications and regional media outlets. Donations for the promotion partner, the Canadian Diabetes Association, which managed the drop-offs, reached 19,321 lbs. of clothing in one day (vs. its previous record from another company of 5,000 lbs. over a nine-day campaign).

Cause & Effect: Throwaway Thursday was the only key difference between Black Friday 2012 and 2013.

Ivanhoé Cambridge’s tenants’ Black Friday promotions were on par with other Canadian retail chains, with the majority offering extended mall hours and discounts at the retail level.

Client: Ivanhoé Cambridge
Regional marketing (Central region): Joanne Ross, Director
Regional marketing & operations coordinator (Central region): Sandra Wainwright
Director, regional marketing (Quebec region): Zeina Barghout
Regional marketing & operations coordinator (Quebec region): Marie-Pier Delisle
Agency: John St.
ECDs: Angus Tucker, Stephen Jurisic
ACD/CW: Kurt Mills
ACD/AD: Kyle Lamb
CW: Kohl Forsberg
AD: Zack Vitiello
Producers: Cas Binnington, Jen Shapiro
Account executive: Lauren Aitchison
Planner: Laura Robbins