Kit and Ace mails a dose of optimism to shoppers

The brand tries to soften recent blows to the apparel sector with a new "Amplify Optimism" direct mail program.

Apparel brands are being hit hard by the pandemic. Many have had to pivot to online during times of lockdown, and they continue to face an uphill battle as sales decline quarter-after-quarter.

But Vancouver-based Kit and Ace’s CEO George Tsogas says his brand is using the challenge as an opportunity to create a program that’s centred around uplifting messages and tied to togetherness, as well as holiday traditions.

“The global events of 2020 have really fuelled our new vision to ‘Amplify Optimism,’” Tsogas tells strategy.

For the month of December, Kit and Ace is encouraging customers to fill out a form on its website with an uplifting message, as well as a loved one’s name and address. Kit and Ace will then repurpose the message onto a personalized “optimism postcard” and mail it to their chosen recipient for free.

Tsogas says that sending physical postcards felt appropriate during a year when many of us are unable to see family and friends in person, and that there is something unabashedly sentimental about receiving a card in the mail.

He adds that the campaign builds on Kit and Ace’s positioning as a purpose-led community builder, citing CSR initiatives like helping to fund a COVID mask launch, as well as a coat drive in partnership with United Way when it re-introduced the apparel brand to the Edmonton market. It also adds to prior efforts where it’s invited consumers to join what Tsogas calls the brand’s “army of optimists.”

“Amplify Optimism” is running strictly on social and digital, Tsogas says, adding that there has been no change in ad spend this year as its strategy was always focused on boosting its digital footprint. The campaign is also being supported by micro influencers in that Alberta, Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.

Vancouver branding agency Banter Grace & Lollipop took the lead on creative, and Kit and Ace employed PR agency Milk Creative Communications to augment communications.