(Video) John St. named Future Shop AOR

It was an ambush. Emily Bain, Stephen Jurisic, Ian Brooks, Nellie Kim, and Arthur Flesichmann – all senior leaders at the creative agency John St. – were invited to a Toronto  Future Shop location Thursday afternoon believing they would be asked a number of last-minute questions as part of the retailer’s ongoing agency search. Waiting for […]

The setup

It was an ambush. Emily Bain, Stephen Jurisic, Ian Brooks, Nellie Kim, and Arthur Flesichmann – all senior leaders at the creative agency John St. – were invited to a Toronto  Future Shop location Thursday afternoon believing they would be asked a number of last-minute questions as part of the retailer’s ongoing agency search.

Waiting for them as they entered was the giant projected image of Angela Scardillo, Future Shop’s marketing vice-president, who Skyped in from Vancouver. She asked just one question: would John St. be Future Shop’s agency of record?

(The entire reveal was filmed, and can be viewed below.)

The Toronto agency competed against four other shortlisted companies in a review that began in January and saw as many as 50 agencies participate in the initial RFI.

The Question

Cossette was the incumbent agency, and defended the account it had held for more than six years.

“What we liked about John St. was more than their definite strategic skills and their proven retail experience,” Scardillo told Marketing. “They were really energetic and showed they have a passion for technology.”

“We thought we were the dark horse,” said Fleischmann, who swore he had no idea what lay in wait for him when he walked into the store. “When we left the meeting in Vancouver, I told my partners I was deeply saddened because I figured the probability of winning was low, and we really liked them. The chemistry was great.”

While the retail sector faces many challenges in 2013 (showrooming, invading U.S. stores among others), Scardillo said her company’s most immediate challenge is customer connection.

The Win

“It’s about evolving our position… so consumers have an emotional connection with our brand,” Scardillo said. Research that John St. conducted as part of its pitch showed Canadian consumers have more of a connection with Best Buy, a competing electronics retailer that is owned by the same parent company as Future Shop.

“[Future Shop] has lost its sense of identity with people,” Fleischmann said. “They identify more strongly with Best Buy than with Future Shop, so job number one will be to reintroduce what Future Shop means to Canadians.”

John St. has partnered with Montreal-based Brad to produce French-language marketing. Brad will service the account from its Toronto-based offshoot, The French Shop.

The Celebration

A formal time frame for campaign work or new marketing materials has yet to be established.

Photography: Sinereh Soleimani (click each photo to enlarge)


Advertising Articles

Ads You Must See: A ‘dismal’ week in ad land

Banksy's "dismal" ad, plus a gloomy spot from the British Heart Foundation

Why marketing needs more mentors (Discussion)

Providing career guidance is valuable for both mentor and mentee: Alan Middleton

On The Move: Changes at Top Drawer, Publicis, GMR

A weekly recap of who's headed where in Canadian marketing and communications

Proximity bolsters UX and strategy with new hires

Joe Szabo and Paul Hanlon join the Toronto-based Omnicom-owned shop

Goodyear retires its blimp

Cigar-shaped vessel to be replaced

Axe pushes grit and determination in video series

Campaign from Sid Lee celebrates confidence and the desire to succeed

Canada’s first party leader to post an ad on Instagram is…

Prime minister Stephen Harper using ads on social as part of election campaign

Nestlé Purina’s new magazine has gone to the dogs

Kibble & Collars marks National Dog Day

DenTek and Olsen Europe hire OverCat for PR

Toronto shop holds agency of record status on latest accounts