The effort from the Telus-owned retailer includes print, TV closed captioning, digital ads, out-of-home, experiential events, advertorials, PR and sponsored blogger programs that help bring the new store concept to life. The store showcases ways for consumers to display their favourite photos, aside from posting them on social media or storing them on a computer.
“Customers are so surprised and delighted by the bright and fresh feel that greets them in our new stores, and we’re excited to bring this experience to our customers across the country,” Lisa Richardson, the retailer’s general manager and vice-president told Marketing. “Our advertising plays an important role in doing exactly that and communicates the new Blacks on a much broader scale.”
Part of the campaign included activations in August at popular tourist destinations: the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) and Toronto Pearson Airport, where inevitably people would be capturing numerous photos or thinking what to do with all the photos they had just taken on vacation.
Blacks was able to secure the first-ever ad placement at the international carrousels in Terminal One at Pearson (below), said Richardson. A water decal complete with swimmers and beach balls helped convert the carrousel into a lazy river, while a digital board above invited travelers to download the retailer’s app and receive a discount using a specially provided promotional code. “Downloading the app and browsing the photobook offer was a great way to spend the time waiting for their luggage,” she said.
Meanwhile, for the CNE and other local festivals, Blacks converted a truck into a Playground for Photography experience on-the-go, allowing people to experience the new brand first-hand and print 5×5 photos for free through the retailer’s new app.
Taxi developed the creative, Cossette handled the media planning and buying for the campaign while Edelman managed public relations.
“We wanted our creative to not only deliver the brand message but also inspire Canadians and show that using photos in fun and creative ways can be easy and a great way to express themselves,” said Richardson. “At the end of the day, we want consumers to realize that there’s so much more they could be doing with their pictures, and we’re providing the tools, products and support to help.”
Blacks embarked on its brand transformation more than a year ago with help from consumer research from Boston Consulting Group, and began to closely examine some of the marketplace hurdles it was facing.
Though the advent of digital changed the traditional camera, and the arrival of camera-equipped smartphones was yet another gamechanger, people are taking more photos than ever before because of these advancements. Blacks tapped into this consumer insight and created a more relevant in-store and online experience.
The physical store has been divided into three zones: Devices, the Inspiration Wall that provides framing ideas and gives shoppers an idea of what particular products might look like at home, and the Create and Knowledge area, where consumers can learn more about their devices and create products using their images.
In June the new concept store was awarded the Best New Store Design award from the Retail Council of Canada.
Seven Playground For Photography stores are now open. The eighth location is scheduled to open next month at Square One in Mississauga, Ont.