Couche-Tard acts like a good neighbour

The convenience store banner moves towards more bold, humorous brand-building in its latest Quebec campaign.

Quebec convenience store banner Couche-Tard is aiming to convey a homey vibe with its “As Close As A Neighbour” campaign.

In a riff on the “borrow the sugar” motif, with neighbours in an apartment complex ask one another for milk and shampoo after they’ve run out, though each situation comes with an awkward twist. The videos close with a tagline: “as close as neighbour, but with more selection.”

Sandrine Paquet, Couche-Tard’s marketing manager, says the campaign is an effort by the retailer to go back to the type of advertising it was previously known for in Quebec, which was more bold and humorous. “As Close As A Neighbour” also focuses more on the Couche-Tard brand, rather than more recent work that has put the focus more on specific product offerings.

Paquet cites the convenience store chain’s ubiquity as the other driver behind the campaign. When it comes to messaging, its aim is to come across as fast and friendly, “making peoples’ lives easier.”

“Couche-Tard is on every corner,” she says. With the new campaign, the retailer really wanted to focus on proximity (“we have what you need close by”) as well as a sense of community that comes from that (“we are part of your everyday life”). And also, Paquet says, it wanted to get across the message that Couche-Tard “has products on the go that consumers are looking for.”

Paquet says that its runs TV campaigns year-round in Quebec to maintain a prime time presence. And it chose a program to advertise on that really resonate with Quebecers – La Voix, the francophone version of the singing competition show The Voice, which it sponsors and and reaches its target demographic.

Havas worked on the creative, while Media Experts did the media and TVA Access the production. The campaign also features social media components, in addition to the 30-second TV spots.