Roots puts ‘nice’ spin on holiday efforts

The apparel brand's end-of-year push focuses on the diversity of its customers and the power of being together.

Roots is focusing on the diversity of its customers and embracing togetherness in its holiday campaign supporting the launch of its 2019 holiday collection.

The campaign, called “Nice Together,” includes a 60-second video featuring footage of more than 50 customers of the brand, cozying up to one another in the plaid, salt-and-pepper and cabin-inspired designs of Roots’ 2019 holiday collection.

This year, the apparel company is also running a photo exhibit by Canadian photographer Barbara Stoneham featuring the families and friends in the campaign. Launching today, the installations will run through to Dec. 24 at Roots’ Bloor Street shop in Toronto, and from Dec. 12 to 24 at its Michigan Avenue location in Chicago.

The brand has a broad and diverse customer base, says James Connell, chief ecommerce and customer experience officer at Roots. It’s one the company has attempted to represent in the campaign. While each individual featured has a unique story to tell, he says the common thread is “they are all better and stronger people because of those surrounding them and they, as a result, build a stronger community.”

Roots first introduced the concept of “Nice” in a 2017 campaign around Canada 150 celebrations. That work featured images of fallen soldiers, Syrian refugees and Indigenous Canadian protests, in an effort to expand the meaning of a word often prescribed to Canadians by undermining the common stereotypes.

The fashion retailer sees the best results when it focuses on people in its advertising, Connell says, whether they’re customers, leather factory workers or musicians – such as songwriters Charlotte Day Wilson, Killy and Langston Francis in a recent iteration of its #Sweatstyle campaign dating back several years.

The addition of a photo exhibit this year speaks to the brand’s focus on creating unique experiences in its stores through the use of art, music and displays, according to Connell. A few years ago, it introduced a new cabin-inspired store concept with an interactive “customizable workshop” and a design aesthetic evoking feelings of the outdoors.

This year, its in-store holiday decor includes a display with a 1988 Buick Estate Station Wagon packed with Roots holiday gifts.

Roots’ led the creative direction of “Nice Together” with help from The Garden on production and Mediacom on media.