The direct client for this campaign was SYLVANIA, though the marketing funds were supplied by Canadian Tire through a business development agreement. SYLVANIA holds a large share of the Canadian automotive lighting market because several cars come factory-equipped with their lighting systems. A trusted brand, consumers often choose SYLVANIA bulbs in the aftermarket when the time comes to replace their headlight bulbs, though generally, they choose the same entry-level bulbs their cars came equipped with rather than upgrade to premium options.
The objective of the Great White Lights campaign was to show off the jewel-like beauty of the SYLVANIA SiverStar zXe headlights while also forging an emotional connection with young Canadian car enthusiasts who enjoy an adventurous lifestyle. We asked ourselves how we might make such an impression on Canadian drivers so that when standing in the aisle of Canadian Tire faced with dozens of packages of bulbs, they recalled the thick, crisp light of SYLVANIA’s SilverStar zXe bulbs against the darkest night.
Feast excels at defining a visual presence for brands, whether they’re making a new foray into the digital sphere or, like SYLVANIA, launching regular targeted campaigns. Taking a cinematic approach, we sent a film crew to the Yukon Territory to capture the night wilderness and the sweeping vistas of the most famous light show on Earth: the aurora borealis.
The ad portrays a group of young people chasing the northern lights. We pick them up as they make their indoor preparations and follow them as they gather into a car and drive out into the vast Yukon night. To resonate with car enthusiasts, the video features Canadian race car driver Scott Hargrove behind the wheel of the Subaru WRX 2011 Hatchback. The tableau is set to original music composed by Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene, giving it a pronounced Canadian flair. The production of the commercial was scheduled to coincide with increased solar storm activity, so the aurora borealis featured in the commercial is actual footage captured by the film crew.
- Account management and coordination
- Creative strategy development
- Location and production planning
- Creative direction
- Production management
- On-site video and photography production services
- Post-production services
- Graphic design and asset finalization
Great White Lights exceeded client expectations, delivering high-level execution, excellent ROI, and strong media results. The video, in various formats, was distributed through social media, pre-roll/mid-roll, and broadcast TV. The Canadian Tire marketing team was so pleased with the campaign creative that additional dollars were put into purchasing TV media during the Toronto Blue Jays October playoff run. In a stroke of luck, the ad ran right after the famous Jose Bautista bat flip.
All in all, the brand received over 60 million targeted digital impressions and an additional 75 million impressions on television. The video was shared on Facebook 741,000 times, and Instagram emerged as a leading platform for video engagement. During that period, the brand reached 21 million people (compared to a non-campaign reach of only 33,000) and gained more than 25,000 new followers across social channels. The creative was also very well received in the advertising industry, garnering eight international awards and being featured in several industry magazines.
Since the overall campaign objective was to increase sales of SYLVANIA headlights at Canadian Tire, many of our digital ads, including the VR and Canvas ads, linked back to the SYLVANIA product page of the Canadian Tire website. This strategy allowed us to utilize the latest innovations in digital media and resulted in a lift in traffic to the Canadian Tire website. Google searches for “Canadian Tire headlights” increased by 50%, and online ads generated an additional 30,000 clicks to SYLVANIA product pages. Despite the 2015 Canadian economic slowdown, SYLVANIA sales at Canadian Tire grew by 12%, and while most other winter categories suffered in Q4, automotive lighting was a top sales performer.