“A Cart Apart” delivers a message about what constitutes proper grocery shopping protocol during the COVID era, but in a way that reflects the irreverent brand personality the discount grocery chain has cultivated over the past couple of years.
The video urges its customers (which it calls “Haulers”) to “haul responsibly” by keeping a least one shopping cart length away from other customers (ie: a cart apart), refrain from hoarding key items, and leaving reusable shopping bags at home.
The message is delivered via a two-minute song featuring a thumping bassline and highly auto-tuned vocals. The video is running on No Frills’ social channels and streaming on both Spotify and iHeartRadio. No Frills is donating $1 to the President’s Choice Children’s Charity (to a maximum of $50,000) for every play.
No Frills brand director Ashley McGill says the video, developed in association with the company’s agency John St., is calculated to strike a balance between information and fun, while delivering key information to customers.
“We wanted to make sure we got the tone right for our stores and for our customers and stay true to our Hauler fanbase—the savvy shopper who loves to get a lot for a lot less,” she says. “We needed to get a message out, but we wanted it to be fun and uplifting. People are feeling cooped-up right now and we wanted to put a smile on our customers’ faces.”
It also helps No Frills stand out in a sea of “samey” advertising (from both grocers and other brands) that have tended to lean towards emotion, with lots of sombre piano music and about “unprecedented times.”
McGill says conversations with No Frills franchisees indicated that there is a lot of confusion at store level. “We needed a way to cut through all the noise, to make it easier for customers to remember the rules of safe shopping and to lessen the burden on our employees and the frontline workers,” says McGill. “The song is catchy [and] gets stuck in your head. We really think it’s going to help.”