Indigo wants to help Canadians feel good, even with its ads

The retailer is taking a low-pressure approach to weaving its growing wellness assortment into customers' everyday efforts at betterment.

Indigo-imageHealth and wellness are going to be a big focus for Indigo in the months ahead, but its new marketing efforts are all about letting customers take the little steps they can feel good about, at their own pace.

At Indigo’s wellness store-within-a-store, the brand is offering a wider assortment of health-related products, including Alo yoga fitness gear, Casper sleep products and the Oura sleep and fitness tracker.

These products are highlighted in digital video spots for the new “Feel Good” campaign – though not called out by name or given a hard sell – alongside practices like as gratitude journaling, healthier veggie forward cooking and taking the time to workout at home.

Alison Lawler-Dean, VP of marketing at Indigo, tells strategy that the retailer wanted to make the viewer feel good with the light and airy feel of the creative approach. Developed by its internal team, Indigo Creative Studio, the ad features a muted beige colour palette and people stretching, eating healthy, journaling and looking generally relaxed.

“We wanted that balance of visually pleasing but importing easy ways of weaving wellness into your everyday,” she says. And even though Indigo has made a bigger marketing investment than it has in previous winter periods – due to a wider product assortment and the opportunities in the wellness category – the retailer is purposefully taking a low-pressure approach.

Lawler-Dean says Indigo did not want the campaign to be about big resolutions, but about little moments and solutions customers can embrace to feel good while they build more healthy habits – as opposed to the “new year’s resolution” approach, which tends to put a lot of pressure on people and brings a lot of guilt when they don’t meet their own lofty goals. Lawler-Dean says Indigo’s audience skews towards women, who the laid back approach and visuals also resonate with.

“Feel Good” is based on insights that, following the indulgence of the holiday season, people are frequently in a better-for-you mindset, with an uptick in health and wellness product interest whether it’s healthy eating, fitness or self-help books. And that may be true in 2021 more than ever.

“Coming out of the pandemic, we felt that’s where people’s minds were at,” says Lawler-Dean. Its customer is looking for health and wellness and the brand is seeing that demand grow naturally, she says, and that it wanted to add an approach that felt incredibly relevant to those living in the pandemic.

For example, one aspect of health that’s much more prominent these days, is sleep, with many reports that pandemic-related insomnia is on rise. To that end, Indigo is the exclusive partner for the Oura ring, a Finnish wearable that tracks not only movement, but also sleep, so people can approach the next day with their best foot forward.


It’s a change in how Indigo approaches wellness, which is not just about how you physically feel, Lawler-Dean says, but in feeling good about it, and the importance of mental health.

To that end, Indigo is kicking off the campaign with customized content around mental health, timed to be released ahead of this year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day, when conversations about mental health are at their peak.

Mental health is also the focus of the first episode of the retailer’s new conversational short-format Indigo Podcast, Well Said, featuring CNN health reporter and neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta weighing in on proper brain health. Going forward, the podcast will focus on living well in other ways, through interviews with subject matter experts and thought-leaders.

With “Well Said,” Lawler-Dean says, the brand can leverage its roster of prominent authors, and that shorter, 25-minute conversations can break down health ideas into more digestible, simpler units.

The campaign is also being amplified by Instagram events, such as a free yoga classes with Alo, talks about empowerment with influencers Sasha Exeter + Alex Elle and guides on healthy eating with nutritionist Abby Langer. Media buys are also being handled internally.