Sobeys names SJC its Content Partner of Choice

In a new multi-year agreement starting summer 2020, SJC will be Sobeys’ full-service partner, using our “content factory” model to create integrated marketing assets including flyers, in-store marketing, digital and social.

We will serve all of Sobeys’ Canadian grocery banners including Safeway, Foodland, IGA, Thrifty Foods, FreshCo and Lawtons Drugs.

SJC Content has been working with Sobeys over the past year to produce effective print and social campaigns such as this one for Cinca de Mayo:

“We are excited to expand our successful relationship as an all-encompassing partner for Sobeys,” says Tony Gagliano, Chairman & CEO of SJC.  “With both organizations sharing a foundation of family values and strong guiding principles, the partnership is a natural fit. Our unique combination of process, technology and creative expertise will provide a continuous stream of meaningful content to engage the Sobeys consumer for years to come.”

Content will lead the transformation of auto retail

At some point over the last five years, our connection to car culture as we have known it has started to shift. Perhaps the experience of buying a car at a dealership has become less inspirational, aspirational and special – and frankly, more of an expensive chore or necessity. More likely however, we have seen consumers look to online resources and word-of-mouth in their car-buying decision-making process.

And while COVID-19 has accelerated the course to full digital retail for a number of businesses, the push for the auto sector to enter the e-commerce world started years ago.

A change in consumer preferences and habits

In a 2015 study by Accenture [1], 10,000 consumers in eight major countries found that 80 per cent of drivers seeking to purchase a new vehicle were using some form of digital technology to research their buying preferences. Nearly two-thirds were initiating the car-buying process online, including consulting social media channels, before entering a dealership.

Additionally, three-quarters of the survey respondents said that if given the opportunity, they would consider making their entire car-buying process online, including financing, price negotiation, back-office paperwork and home delivery. These results speak to a consumer base looking for a new way to make the second biggest purchase in their lives. And that was five years ago.

In May of this year, Google released a study [2] identifying five key trends shaping the auto sector moving forward, including the consumer desire to have the dealer experience closer to home. Here are the activities auto shoppers ranked by preference as good alternatives to a dealer visit:

  1. At-home test drive
  2. Review videos
  3. Digital showroom
  4. Online configurator
  5. VR test drive
  6. Videoconference

While these suggestions make a lot of sense given our current climate – and it’s likely that post-pandemic, shifts in consumer behaviour will persist – dealers and OEMs should think aout the specific kind of content assets that need to be developed to support these activities in market.  What is the purpose of each asset and where, and how, can the consumer interact with it? These are important considerations to create what is needed without overspending.

How content can be used to support the preferences of today’s auto shoppers

Video

Before the pandemic, auto shoppers were turning to YouTube to experience digital test drives, product reviews and feature demos. This practice has become even more important given the current crisis. Brands that want buyers to engage with specific models and initiative specific activities (like arranging a test drive at your home) need to consider highlighting video content of interior overviews, walk arounds, test drives and review videos. Here are examples we have created for our clients.

 

Online brand experiences

Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis Canada started to test and push a full online brand experience in 2017 and 2018. Offering everything from maintenance pickup, vehicle replacement, detailed digital information on all Genesis vehicles and service offerings as well as a full, online purchase and delivery functionality, SJC created a series of multi-format videos to highlight, promote and convey this high-end, ultra-convenient offering.

In the the years since, Hyundai and a number of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have made a push to create more and more video and digital content to assist the consumer in their preliminary research including product videos, walk-arounds, and full 360 interactive views of the exterior and interiors of their vehicle lineup.

 

Interactive 360 photography

If car buyers can’t physically see and sit in the vehicle, content needs to be created to convey that experience in the best possible manner. Fully interactive 360 views of the interior and exteriors of the vehicle is a great execution that truly gives the consumer the opportunity to learn and discover everything they need to understand and appreciate the car.  At any time, users can drill down on a highlighted feature through pop-up video or animated content, without leaving the 360.  Interactive 360s are essential in grabbing and keeping a consumer’s interest. In terms of conversion, consumers can click to other content offerings, arrange a test drive or video conference with a nearby dealer, or even begin the purchase process.

You can also check out a 360 interactive example for Subaru here.

Augmented reality and virtual test drive

While virtual test-drive also made the list of desired consumer experiences, there are a number of ways to go about delivering on it. The most common virtual test drive experience isn’t actually virtual; it is essentially a POV (point of view) video. This is an easy-to-produce asset that does a good job of conveying the functionality of the various features, systems and aesthetics of the driving experience. It is not however, an adequate representation of the actual driving experience and all the momentum, power and feel that goes with it. Nor does it convey how one physically feels in the various seats, the sight lines or the actual function of features like cruise control or switching from automatic to manual.

Augmented reality (AR) is proving to be an invaluable tool to assist in the explanation some of the more advanced technology currently available. Like many OEMs, Mitsubishi has been active producing new electric and hybrid drive vehicles. Though this technology is becoming more common, it can still be complicated to explain in easily understandable visuals to a consumer. To improve this customer experience, SJC created an AR-assisted sales tool. Preloaded onto an iPad, the object-based augmented reality tool is activated by simply pointing it at the vehicle in question. Sales associates and the consumer can then see an overlay of the various drive systems, and interact with each for a better understanding of the function and benefits of each.

 

 

The Road Ahead

Perhaps unlike any time in history, OEMs need to truly remember what it is to be a consumer making a big purchase. Car buyers have reset their expectations around how they wish to research, explore, compare and ultimately arrive at their buying decision. Any digital tactic that can bring confidence to that decision process is of tremendous value.
For any tactic to be effective however, it must be executed with exceptional and affordable content, that goes beyond the flash of a broadcast ad. It’s content that is readily available in the format the individual needs in the moment.

That’s why SJC continues to push the boundaries of exceptional retail experiences for auto.

Sources:

  1. Accenture Newsroom 
  2. Think with Google

Producing photography and video in the era of COVID-19

This is not business as usual. It is a time where flexibility, creativity and collaboration are essential as we find our way forward through unchartered territory and develop new production processes to fuel relevant and engaging marketing solutions for brands to reach their audiences.

St. Joseph Communications (SJC) is open for business. As a provider to essential services including grocery, pharmaceutical and telecommunications, we continue our work in creating, sharing and printing content. Over the last several weeks, we have implemented new processes and policies for the creation of high-quality photography and video for our clients. Our challenge was to produce live photo and video shoots, all the while minimizing human contact, ensuring a safe environment on set, conducting client approvals remotely and maintaining high-quality creative output.

Introducing the SJC Safe Shoot Solution

 

Safe filming and photography continues at SJC during COVID-19 With our studios under strict new guidelines to ensure distancing and safety, we are able to produce a wide variety of off-figure product and lifestyle photography and video content for multiple categories including:

  • Food
  • Home
  • Automotive
  • Apparel
  • Beauty
  • Consumer Packaged Goods

As part of our Safe Shoot Studio protocol, we have implemented the following processes to enable no-touch photography and video production:

  • Limiting the live crew on set to the essential team members, with the remaining members – including art directors, retouchers, writers and script writers – working remotely.
  • Re-configuring all studios to keep crew members a minimum of six feet apart at all times.
  • Reinforcing hygiene and safety as top priority, with all crews wearing gloves and masks (when required).
  • Providing clients with remote access for proofing video and photography; a safe and effective way for clients to be virtually on set.
  • Introducing client proofing for video via Teradek VidiU technology, which allows our film camera to send a live HD feed to a secure cloud-based online viewing platform. Client teams can watch remotely and provide real-time feedback to the SJC studio team.
  • Using a wireless monitor solution on set to keeps crew safely connected from a distance.
  • Providing remote access for talent so they can perform without human contact.
  • Disinfecting studios and equipment after every shoot.

Our Safe Shoot Studio solution enables our teams to work with clients to produce new and relevant content for a variety of marketing needs from direct-to-consumer e-commerce channels to print, digital, social media and retail signage.

To find out more about our SJC Safe Studio solution,  please contact sjc.connect@stjoseph.com.

SJC gives Rexall’s Be Better line a makeover

After successfully rebranding Rexall Pharma Plus’ Kit beauty line, SJC was tasked to create a refreshed brand identity for their Be Better product line. Our brand redesign for Rexall’s health and beauty products boosted their appeal and shelf presence. Along with a bold, contemporary palette, our creative included close-cut photography to showcase the scent and product variety.

Recognizing SJC’s commitment to innovative craftsmanship in packaging design, our Be Better makeovers won a Silver 2019 PAC Canadian Leadership Award in the Rebrand Non-Food category. Celebrating craftsmanship in package brand design and innovation, PAC Leadership Awards winners positively impact business performance, enhance brand value, prioritize sustainability, highlight innovation and celebrate collaboration.

What SJC has been up to this holiday season

Get your home holiday ready (inside and out), browse the best cookie recipes, zero in on the perfect gift ideas, host a party and enjoy quality time with family. It’s all in our 2019 round-up of SJC holiday content we’ve been busy creating on behalf of our clients and our magazine readers across Canada. From magalogs, gift guides and custom content to broadcast spots, video and packaging, take a scroll through some of our favourite holiday content and get inspired to enjoy the spirit of the season.
Warm holiday wishes from all of us at SJC!

M&M Food Market – Your Holiday Headquarters

Highlights: To promote M&M Food Market’s timelessly popular party packs, we created a series of short, festive videos, shot in SJC’s food studio. The 15 and 30-second videos were shared on its website as well as social to show how holiday hosting can be a breeze with M&M Food Market’s convenient apps and desserts.

 

 

HELLO! Canada – A Very Royal Christmas

Highlights: Just in time for the holidays, the stand-alone special-interest publication was created by the HELLO! Canada team for anyone who loves royals, Christmas or both! The 100-page perfect-bound keepsake, printed by SJC Print, showcased everything from Royal Family traditions and heartwarming photos to fun quizzes and festive recipes. Plus: Gift-guide pages brimmed with ideas; presents for royal fans; fashion and accessories inspired by stylish royals; and treasures for the little prince or princess in your life. Available at newsstands and online, A Very Royal Christmas was supported by advertising in HELLO! Canada, Maclean’s and on social media.

HELLO Canada Holiday 2019

 

The Brick “Holiyays” with HGTV’s Kortney Wilson

Highlights: In a series of 15 and 30-second broadcast spots, HGTV’s Kortney Wilson moves from the dining room to the living room to the kitchen, where she unwraps one key product for each space. A fun way of positioning the My Brick Home 2019 holiday catalogue (photographed, designed and printed by SJC), each product benefits Kortney’s holiday entertaining and inspires viewers to create their own stylish party central this season. Shorter spots were also created for digital and social platforms, including animated supers for when audio is off.

 

 

 

Toronto Life and Pusateri’s Fine Foods: Home for the Holidays

Highlights: For the December feature of a monthly co-branded series with Pusateri’s, Toronto Life visited the Pusateri family at home to share how the family prepares its annual Christmas celebration. Capturing the family in action, food-focused photography, and even some of the special family recipes, Toronto Life shared the custom content in print and online.

 

 

 

Canadian Tire: NOMA Heritage LED String Lights

Highlights: Last holiday season, our brand and package development team worked closely with Canadian Tire’s marketing team to design a new brand identity for its NOMA Advanced™ line of products. On the heels of this successful relaunch, we teamed up with Canadian Tire to help make the holidays even brighter with the design of NOMA’s new Heritage line of retro style string lights. The packaging features reflect the roots of the NOMA brand and the personality and design architecture align with the vintage-inspired lights that are sure to bring a radiant glow to homeowners’ holiday decor.

 

Toronto Life – Nordstrom Holiday Shopping Challenge

Highlights: This holiday season, Nordstrom had you covered with a range of services – on-site gift-wrapping, expert shoeshine and sneaker buffing, plus a concierge service that will take your coat and shopping bags and let you shop hands-free. Best of all, there’s complimentary advice from Nordstrom’s crew of stylists, who will handpick your holiday outfits and steer you to the perfect gifts for everyone on your list – at any price point. To prove it, Toronto Life asked a group of stylish Torontonians to see if Nordstrom’s style experts can find them one amazing party outfit and two presents in less than 45 minutes. Check out episode 1 and find out if Jessica Lam beat the clock.

 

 

Leon’s – Hello Yellow Holiday “comfort & joy”

Highlights: SJC designed and produced an inspirational holiday-themed print magalog with Leon’s. The English version was polybagged and distributed through the LCBO and a 24-page digital version – available in English or French – included extended content to support Leon’s online channels. We also animated various stories within the magalog content in a series of GIFs for Leon’s to use in its social promotions.

 

Chatelaine – Holiday Cookies

Highlights: Just in time for holiday baking, Chatelaine rounded up 100+ of the very best triple-tested cookie recipes from the Chatelaine kitchen, including six new cookie recipes from the December print issue inspired by classic winter cocktails. Browse through Chatelaine‘s most popular recipes over the years, or jump right to classics like gingerbread or shortbread.

Chatelaine holiday cookies

 

Today’s Parent in partnership with LEGO Duplo

Highlights: Today’s Parent partnered with LEGO Duplo for its highly anticipated Toy Guide issue, including creating a custom cover out of 6,192 LEGO bricks! In addition to featuring three of the toddler toy sets in the print guide, and leveraging its curated influencer network to run a very successful toy-testing Parents of Influence program on todaysparent.com, Editor-in-Chief Kim Shiffman touted the top toys on a special holiday-inspired episode of Cityline.

 

 

General Motors: Unwrap the Holidays

Highlights: SJC creates the content delivered on General Motors’ In-Dealership Digital Network (IDDN). Several years ago SJC Content was selected to provide the content strategy and create the video content for GM’s in-dealership digital network that is now in more than 5,400 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealerships across the United States. This year, we created the “Unwrap the Holidays” spot, which is engaging, holiday-themed content that brings Chevrolet’s holiday “Employee Discount for Everyone” campaign into every dealership across the company.

 

FLARE, Chatelaine and Today’s Parent in partnership with Tourism Toronto

Highlights: With the most wonderful time of the year upon us, Tourism Toronto partnered with our three lifestyle brands to create custom guides to seasonal events and holiday hot spots in Toronto. FLARE came up with 25 of the cutest and most creative winter date ideas, while Today’s Parent rounded up the most festive family-friendly activities in the city, and Chatelaine put together the definitive list of Toronto foodie hot spots.

 

Gift Guides

Highlights: Whoever you need to buy for this year, our Media brands have you covered, with well-curated gift guides from Chatelaine, Châtelaine, Flare, Today’s Parent, Toronto Life, and FASHION.

FASHION gift guide 2019

FASHION and Lise Watier Cosmetics announce first-to-market beauty collaboration

FASHION Magazine and Lise Watier Cosmetics have joined forces for a first-of-its-kind multi-platform collaboration to launch the new Lise Watier Haute Nature Fall 2018 beauty collection.

The innovative campaign launches the luxury makeup collection across Canada and includes a 360° multi-platform co-branded content integration created for print, social media, digital, video, and mobile formats. The program centred around a co-branded live beauty shoot that took place in a “secret garden” floral setting, and an exclusive VIP Beauty Influencer event that followed later that evening.

Here’s a look at the FASHION X Lise Watier program elements:

  • Print: an 8-page co-branded beauty feature in the September issue of FASHION and Lise Watier Haute Nature double-page spread brand creative.
  • Video: a 3-part co-branded editorial video series capturing the live shoot, the event and behind-the-scenes; and a series of three how-to videos featuring Lise Watier makeup artist David Vincent recreating the looks from the FASHION shoot.
  • Digital: long-form digital content on fashionmagazine.com.
  • Social Media: beauty shoot and event social media posted on FASHION’s Instagram, Insta-stories, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels reaching 2.67 million.
  • Influencer Event: a live event featuring 100+ beauty influencers sampling the Haute Nature Collection and taking part in the live “secret garden beauty shoot” via a series of custom activations designed for the creation of Instagram content moments. Check out the pictures from the event in our studio turned secret garden.

FASHION is proud to partner with Lise Watier on this first-to-market collaboration. Together we have produced a best-in-class co-branded editorial integration and a unique brand experience that is truly a game changer for product launches,” said Jacqueline Loch, VP & Group Publisher, Women’s Brands, St. Joseph Communications. “Through our editorial expertise in luxury and our understanding of engaging our audiences across all platforms, we have created a high quality 360º program with highly engaging content strategy designed to deliver on Lise Watier’s marketing objectives and exceptional ROI.”

The “secret garden” theme for the program was inspired by the Lise Watier Haute Nature collection and was aligned with the brand advertising campaign featuring the Fall 2018 Collection and model in a romantic floral setting.

“Lise Watier Cosmetics has continuously evolved while still holding true to its core values of quality, innovation and diversity,” said François Lafortune, Vice President of Marketing at Groupe Marcelle. “We couldn’t be happier to expand the reach of the brand’s iconic elegance and inspiring innovation through our partnership with FASHION.

Lise Watier has always been dedicated to delivering beauty expertise to women across Canada. The brand’s eponymous founder, Madame Lise Watier, loved demonstrating her innovative products and sharing her creative beauty techniques with women. From her beauty school to her frequent television appearances, Madame Watier was devoted to helping other women find new ways to bring out their best features. Today, through the brand’s association with FASHION, Lise Watier hopes to reach a new audience of Canadian women and enable them to reveal their true beauty.