Zellers sets Zeddy free

September 12, 2012  |  Rebecca Harris  |  Comments

As Zellers nears its extinction, the brand is looking for a new home for its mascot, Zeddy.

The bear, which has made appearances at charity, community and shopping events since 1986, is part of Zellers’ latest Facebook campaign, which will see the bear “adopted” by a charitable organization.

The campaign kicks off with an online video that features Zellers’ familiar “executive managing director” setting Zeddy free in the woods. The executive tells the bear “Zellers is liquidating. Everything must go… That includes you.” Zeddy protests, of course, and the executive has to take a tough-love approach, telling himself to “stay strong,” as he drives away.

A second spot shows Zeddy trying to survive in the great outdoors.

As part of the campaign, Facebook fans can submit their suggestions for a worthy charitable cause. Zellers will give Zeddy – and $5,000 – to the winning charity, which will be chosen when the contest closes at the end of November.

“Zeddy has always worked within the stores and communities we serve as a champion for charity,” said Debbie Ford, senior vice-president, merchandising and marketing at Zellers. “We wanted Zeddy to do another charitable deed… and give Zeddy back to the community one last time.”

In addition to finding Zeddy a new home, the “Everything Must Go” campaign gives fans a chance to win weekly prizes, such as Zellers merchandise and “mystery prizes.” Each winner will also receive a $20 HBC gift card.

The campaign is the third installment of a Facebook campaign that kicked off last November. Created by Toronto agency John St., the campaign takes a humorous approach to the closing of Zellers, which sold the majority of its store leases to Target Corp. early last year.

Audiences were first introduced to the “executive managing director” in “Festive Finale,” which invited consumers to determine its final Christmas campaign—from what coupons Zellers will offer to its in-store music.

In the spring, the HBC-owned retailer asked shoppers to submit their memories of the 80-year-old brand for the chance to have it re-enacted for an online video. Four submissions were chosen and produced as 60-second spots on YouTube and the Zellers Facebook page.

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