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Canadian Tire Red Door Campaign

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 International Business Awards

Company: Canadian Tire, Toronto, ON, Canada
Company Description: Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited, (TSX:CTC.A) (TSX:CTC) or "CTC," is a family of businesses that includes a retail segment, a financial services division and CT REIT. Our retail business is led by Canadian Tire, which was founded in 1922 and provides Canadians with products for life in Canada across its Living, Playing, Fixing, Automotive and Seasonal categories.
Nomination Category:Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, & Public Relations Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Communications or PR Campaign of the Year - Sponsorship

Nomination Title: Canadian Tire Red Door

Tell the story about this nominated campaign since 1 January 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

Intro

As a premier partner of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams, Canadian Tire looked to generate awareness of its sponsorship through earned media coverage and social media engagement during the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. To align with its brand values of inclusivity and community support, the company wanted to take these elite, exclusive sporting events and make them more accessible and inclusive for the family and friends of the athletes competing in PyeongChang, South Korea. Using the Red Door – a life-sized door that when opened, facilitates real-time audio and video connection – Canadian Tire created a uniquely personal activation to connect athletes with their friends and families back home. During the heavily saturated Olympic news cycle, the Red Door leveraged Olympic and Paralympic athlete partnerships to generate quality media coverage, social conversation, and increase its key brand metrics of favourability and consideration by building an emotional connection with Canadians.

Objectives

To promote Canadian Tire’s sponsorship of the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic teams, the campaign’s objectives were to:

-Generate high quality earned media coverage and significant media impressions;
-Drive social engagement and video views online;
-Increase key brand metrics of favourability and consideration by building an emotional connection with Canadians.

Strategy

Behind every athlete, there is a vast support network that develops throughout their career: from family and friends, to teachers and teammates, these people lay the foundation for an athlete’s success. When an athlete reaches the pinnacle of competition – the Olympic or Paralympic Games – many of these supporters are often unable to travel to the Games to support the athlete in-person. Armed with this insight, Canadian Tire leveraged its role as a sponsor to make the Games more inclusive by bringing these important supporters to the Games through the Red Door: a life-sized door that allows for real-time, audio and visual interactions from PyeongChang to Canada. By adding the element of surprise, the Red Door offered heart-warming interactions between athletes and their communities, generating unique content in-line with Canadian Tire’s brand values of inclusivity and community support, and captured the marketing campaign and brand sentiment of We All Play for Canada.

Red Door surprises were planned through meticulous research into each athlete’s back story, ensuring authentic storylines that were aligned with Canadian values and resonated with both the public and media. Because the athletes were surprised by who they found on the other side of the Red Door, the resulting content was genuine and moving, providing engaging content for broadcast media.

Execution

Canadian Tire worked with a creative technology agency to develop the Red Door technology and structures. One of the Red Doors was installed in PyeongChang inside Canada House, the athletes’ home away from home during the Games. Secondary Red Doors were then set up in strategic locations across Canada, creating an instant connection between Canada and PyeongChang.

Canadian Tire pre-selected and entered into contracts with 14 athletes prior to the Games. Athletes were told they would be connecting with fans through the Red Door, ensuring they were unaware who would be on the other side. At home in Canada, venues with personal connections to the athletes were chosen to host the Red Door. At each interaction, family, friends and other special guests were on hand to surprise the athletes and together, celebrate their achievements. To generate earned media coverage, media were invited to cover the Red Door surprises at each Canadian venue. As an additional hook, media were granted interviews through the Red Door with the featured athletes: a rare opportunity for media during the Games.

Canadian Tire’s Red Door was in market during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, launching February 12th with Olympic bronze medallist Mark McMorris, a strategic selection given his notoriety.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief features and results of this nominated PR program since the beginning of 2017 (up to 150 words).

-26.4 million earned media impressions
-111 earned media stories across more than 65 outlets
-26.6 million social media impressions
-2,200+ comments on Facebook
-Five Red Door videos generated 8.7 million views on Facebook, four out of the five videos surpassed one million views each
-On Workplace by Facebook (Canadian Tire’s employee communication platform), Red Door content was the most-engaged with PyeongChang 2018 content amongst employees, earning a 1:59 engagement ratio, significantly higher than the standard benchmark of 1:11.
-Among those aware of the Red Door, 55% stated that they feel more favorable towards Canadian Tire as a result and 44% stated that their consideration to visit Canadian Tire has increased.
-The Red Door was part of the overall Canadian Tire Olympic campaign, which earned Tier-1 (top 10) aided awareness in Canada, alongside long-time global sponsors like McDonald’s and Visa