No Frills turns “haulers” into deal-hunting heroes

The grocer takes celebrating deal-hunters to a new level to keep brand loyalty up in a year of retail disruption.

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No Frills has been celebrating its discount-savvy “haulers” since 2018, showing their prowess for deal hunting with almost superhero-like abilities, like levitating in the aisles of the stores and walking along the doors of the freezers.

Now the brand is being more direct about a hauler’s super-skills to dial its celebration of deal-hunters up a notch.

Created by John St., “Welcome to the Haulerverse” depicts an animated universe where a team of savvy haulers bring their skills together as a super-team that fights frills and racks up great deals.

“What better way to elevate and celebrate ‘Haulers’ than by creating a full-blown animated universe that revolves entirely around them?” says Cher Campbell, ECD at John St. “Using animation gave us the freedom and the ability to showcase our customers in a bigger, bolder way than we ever have before.” She adds that it also sets the stage for even more content around the characters – right now, that includes a website that features more info about the characters, as well as GIFs and an Instagram filter.

According to Ashley McGill, brand director at No Frills., the characters in the spot represent the mindset and pride points of the shoppers within its key demographics – be it those that have been deal hunting for years, those who dig through flyers, or those who manage to save money despite the length of their shopping list.

No Frills is continuing its approach of showing that wanting to save money on groceries should be a point of pride that requires special skill and digital savvy – something that is more important this year as consumers have been even more cost-conscious and making use of digital flyers to keep shopping trips shorter.

“We want our customers to see themselves and recognize the feelings they project as they shop in our stores,” McGill says. “We think we’ve been able to demonstrate this emotional connection in the past through our clothing line, the video game, and most recently, with the album. But the characters will, quite literally, put a face to those feelings.”

Grocery store preference is typically built on convenience, location and prices, factors that have all been amplified this year. But McGill says No Frills has been seeing the emotional relationship a customer has with a grocery store built on trust, in addition to value.

“Return to ‘local’ is more important than ever,” she says, referencing the fact that each store is run by a local owner. “Having them with their finger on the pulse of their own community has allowed us to adapt to what the consumer is looking for.”

DentsuX handled the media buy for the campaign, which will air on national TV alongside paid digital and social elements. Eddy’s Olivier Lescot directed the spot.