Sears braves the cold

The retailer brings its message of quality to life by having its coats stand up to a big bad wolf.

Sears Canada is wrapping up 2015 by giving consumers a first-hand look at how it can help Canadians brave the coming winter.

At Niagara Falls’ Santa Claus parade, the retailer and agency BIMM brought out a robotic “big bad wolf” that huffed and puffed and blasted visitors with cold winter air, with nothing but one of Sears’ coats to protect them.

“Once people try on these coats, they feel that it’s Canada’s best and a lot warmer than it looks,” says Roehl Sanchez, EVP and CCO at BIMM, of doing an experiential activation, something the agency hasn’t done much of in its work with Sears this year. “We knew once we got them into one, they’d want to buy it, so we did something experiential to get them to try it, and to prove what it can stand up against.”

The wolf at the event was a re-creation of a character from the “Wolf of Winter” spot that ran in October and November, which highlighted the standards for all the parkas it sells and the ability for customers to exchange any coat they aren’t happy with.

The spot and event also wrapped up the “Happily Ever After” campaign Sears has been running this year. The campaign has been based around taking classic fairy tales and re-imagining them to feature one of the retailers’ product guarantees, from a year to exchange a mattress if it was no longer comfortable to being able to exchange kids’ back to school clothes if they grow out of them during the school year.

Sanchez says the campaign this year has resulted in some of Sears’ highest brand scores and in-store traffic during back-to-school in the last four years.

“They have some of the best guarantees in the business, and the priority has been really been trying to focus on that as a competitive differentiator,” Sanchez says. “But the experiential event was more about the quality of the coat, and that’s something you can’t fully experience in a spot.”