Loblaw takes a multidimensional approach to relaunching the Insiders’ Report

The grocer is running its "biggest program ever" for the magazine's return to print, including a nostalgic campaign and in-store holograms.

PC Insiders Report In-store Hologram

Old is meeting new as Loblaw is deploying cutting edge tech to draw attention to the return of an old-school print publication after nearly a decade absence.

The company has brought the PC Holiday Insiders’ Report back to print, offering a limited number at its stores across the country, in addition to the online format. First launched in 1983, the PC Insiders Report was a seasonal periodical that highlighted products, trends and recipes ahead of the summer and holiday shopping seasons. Though the report went on hiatus in the early 2010s, it was brought back in a digital-only format last summer.

The 50-page magazine includes QR codes that link back to content on the Insiders Project, the company’s content platform. And it includes 100 President’s Choice products that are new for this season, with content spanning appetizer spreads, turkey recipes, baking suggestions and occasions to enjoy kimchi. It also includes fashion pointers, make up tips and bar cart upgrades, and encompasses everything from Joe Fresh and the PC Health App, to Loblaw’s Children’s Charities and PC Optimum offers.

“We have a lot to offer…and one of the things we really wanted to bring to all Canadians is a breadth of offerings,” says Meghan Nameth, Loblaw’s SVP of marketing. “It’s the largest program that we’ve had, both from an impact and an investment perspective.”

The grocery banner’s “Living Page” three-dimensional hologram (seen above) is the stuff of Star Trek, bringing the PC Insiders’ Report to life in a very different way in some stores, according to Nameth.

She tells strategy that the activation, showcasing an image that is almost like an in-person chef, but actually a hologram, is a first of its kind and meant to really give people a sense of the inspiration they can find in the Report, alongside the benefits of the new products.

The holograms appear alongside prominent in-store ads that play up the fact that they are the “exclusive home” of new PC products. That leans into what has long been a key element of the President’s Choice brand: that it is on the cutting edge of new foods and flavours to try out, be it holiday appetizers or the yuzu-infused collection it promoted as the next on-trend flavour alongside this year’s Summer Insiders’ Report.

The ads also feature QR codes that lead to recipes and video tutorials for nearby products. Sampling both in-store and at public winter events will focus on new PC SKUs featured in the Report.

“We have some beautiful executions in-store of the products for consumers to be able to find all of the amazing 100 products in the report,” Nameth says.

PC Korean Ribs Store Signage

The broader campaign features TV, OLV, display, social and, according to Nameth, unique things with TikTok, including a gamified piece that offers a grocery prize. The TV campaign is being led by a spot created by Sid Lee and Loblaw’s internal team, featuring a festive party setting and the Backstreet Boys’ hit “Everybody” to lean into the nostalgia of Insiders’ return.

Media on the campaign is being handled by Dentsu and Loblaw’s in-house media team, with PR by Citizen Relations.