Toronto transit shelters forecast savings at Mark’s

Digital TSAs promote in-store discounts linked to the day’s temperature

Chris Powell February 04, 2015

MARKS_Carte Blanche_TSAThe forecast for the next two weeks is storewide savings at Mark’s 46 Toronto-area locations.

The apparel retailer, part of Canadian Tire Corporation, has partnered with Astral Out-of-Home on a two-week campaign that uses digital transit shelter ads (TSAs) to promote in-store discounts linked to that day’s temperature.

A minus 15 day, for example, means that customers get 15% off all in-store inventory, while minus 20 means savings of 20%, etc.

Each of the 40 digital TSAs boasts a 10-second ad highlighting the current temperature, accompanied by the message “The colder it gets, the more you save.” The campaign runs through Feb. 15.

Sabrina Lalonde, associate vice-president of marketing channel delivery for Mark’s in Calgary, said up to 30% of the retailer’s sales are weather-driven, with sales of items like outerwear and winter footwear spiking when there is a snowfall or temperatures drop.

Lalonde said Mark’s has wanted to test the ad concept for some time, but finding real-time, relevant advertising channels was a challenge. Mark’s media mix is heavily reliant on TV and flyers, which prevented such activity because of their long production periods.

The company has typically relied on digital and social media channels for its tactical advertising, but the TSAs give it the ability to quickly build reach and frequency while providing an alternative to digital and social for real-time interaction with customers, she said.

Last year, Mark’s ran an outerwear campaign called “Bring on the outdoors” that relied heavily on TV, static out-of-home and digital. The TV and out-of-home were used primarily for brand advertising, while digital was used to highlight specific promotions and discounts.

The digital TSAs, she said, provide the retailer with the ability to focus both on brand and tactical deployments simultaneously.

A digital and social buy, as well as in-store advertising, are being used to support the out-of-home campaign.

If the concept proves successful, Lalonde said Mark’s might attempt other market-specific applications. In Vancouver, for example, savings could be tied to daily rainfall, while in Calgary savings could be linked to snowfall.

Marks won a free out-of-home campaign from Astral thanks to the Sid Lee art designer Barbato Martiniello and copywriter Emma Quiroz. The duo won Astral’s annual “Carte Blanche for Creatives” competition last year.