Canadian Tire isn’t just a tire store. It’s a full-fledged department store selling tools and hardware, furniture, sporting equipment and more (including, of course, tires). In 2017, Canadian Tire wanted to expand the audience of people aware of and donating to Jumpstart, the charity that receives Canadian Tire’s largesse. Its success has earned Canadian Tire first place in the “Specialty Campaign” category of PR Daily’s 2018 Digital PR & Social Media Awards.
Rather than launch a traditional giving campaign, the Canadian Tire team explored outside-the-box options and finally settled on (drumroll, please) toasters. For $25, Canadians could buy a toaster with all proceeds directed to Jumpstart.
These were no ordinary toasters, however. One toasted the image of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky onto the toast. The other two repeated the feat with images of hockey stars Jonathan Toews and Connor McDavid. Teaser ads invited the target demographic to register to be notified when the toasters became available (and win a chance to get a toaster autographed by the hockey star whose image it toasted). A remarkable 70 percent of the target audience opted in to that offer.
The plan was to raise $250,000 over the life of the campaign. Instead, that amount was raised in a single day. Social media was the key channel for marketing the toasters (and Jumpstart), supported by media outreach, videos, a Facebook Live session and much more, all of which led to more than 79,000 visits to the e-commerce site and a conversion rate of 12 percent (leading the toasters to sell out in 24 hours).
The surge of e-commerce visits was sparked in part by the 170 news stories the campaign produced.
Congratulations to Wayne Gretzky, Jonathan Toews, Connor McDavid, Joseph Nanni, Robby Frankel, Stephen White, Sante Mazzulla, Jordon Melaragno, Benjamin Birch, Alyssa Guttman, Zach Ashbee, Caitlin Purssell, Patrick Naphan, Geoff Jones, Matthew Taylor, Ian Berkowitz, Leslie Uy, Karl Pawlowicz, Mark Matthews, Eva Salem, Cindy Graham, Erica Juba, Emily Lloyd, Kaleigh Henderson, Brandy Barrie, Andrée Dillon, Jayesh Mistry, Darryl Boynton, Taylor Durand, Lindsay Joseph, Leah Gaucher, Julia Wilkinson, Joseph Nanni, Alan Lukatela, Dale Giffen, Liam Benstead and Didier Tovel.