Cadillac Fairview continues brand building with new signature

For "Meet You There," the retail and shopping mall operator took cues from major consumer brands.

Retail and shopping mall operator Cadillac Fairview has taken inspiration from some of the world’s most iconic brands, arriving at a new brand signature that summarizes its focus on experiences and the future.

In unveiling “Meet You There,” which is being supported with a launch campaign, CF hopes to position itself among large consumer brands like Nike, Apple and Levi’s, according to Jason Anderson, the company’s SVP of marketing.

“We look at iconic brands around the world, and we learn from them and go to school on them,” he says. “What we found is that great brands around the world consistently find a great way of expressing themselves, not only to the world, but also to their own employees.”

Those communications generally involve presenting themselves in a straightforward, down-to-earth, colloquial way, Anderson says. Think Nike’s “Just Do It,” the now 30-year-old tagline that continues to make waves in the advertising world.

“Ultimately, our goal is to create a competitive advantage that builds our business through the power of our brand,” he says. “Frankly, we’re amazed how little focus and attention brands really receive within the commercial real estate industry. So there’s a huge opportunity for us, and we’re already starting to see some of those results.”

At the moment, CF is focused on introducing the new signature to Canadians, so it’s rolling out a video on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to support its launch. “Chapter two” of the effort will come out around the holidays and look to reinforce CF’s ability to create enhanced shopping experiences in its retail properties, says Anderson.

“It’s starts literally right now – there’s that idea of a physical, literal, meet you there moment,” he says. “But over time, we will grow this to be much more aspirational. ‘Meet You There’ can be about an idea, about a movement, about a philosophy or an approach. So we’ll start with the very literal meaning of ‘Meet You There’ and grow that over time.”

The launch spot features two women, who discover a portal-like entrance leading into a CF property. There’s something retro about the look and feel of the spot, thanks in part to the vibrancy of the colours used, although it is ultimately intended to be as forward-looking as the tagline it supports.

Anderson says the video is focused on the notions of “vibrancy, transformation and social connection.” For example, the transformative element can be found in the transition from mundane daily occurrences (hanging out on the couch, being at work) into something more exciting, whereas social connection is communicated more subtly through the recognition that both women in the spot are headed to the same destination, where they will presumably encounter one another.

The work is the result of a collaboration between CF’s internal team and a number of its agency partners, including Ideo in San Francisco, Bleublancrouge in Montreal, and Traffic and North Strategic in Toronto. Media buying was handled by North Strategic, with its sister company, Notch Video, on production of the spot.

Traditionally, the brand has been able to build up its brand “without being a significant advertiser,” says Anderson. More than 250 million Canadians walk through its retail properties and shopping malls every year, according to the marketer, giving it plenty of opportunities to connect with customers in ways that go beyond traditional media.

Instead, CF has focused on building an experience-led brand. Part of that can be found in its recent roll out of different pilot projects, including its “Feel the Love” loyalty program. Later this week, it will be launching another pilot project at Toronto’s Sherway Gardens shopping centre around a VIP parking experience.

“Whether it’s loyalty or something else,” Anderson adds, “it really comes back to that idea of continuing to test and learn, being focused on providing best-in-class experiences, and then adding those experiences to bring ‘Meet You There’ to life.”