BC Dairy Foundation
Back in 2002, a plan was hatched to reduce a 10-year decline in milk consumption, steepest among teens. Within six years, three ad campaigns targeting 16- to 24-year-olds had helped increase milk’s desirability, but now with growing competitive activity (in the form of slurpees, Red Bull and pop) along with the changing ways teens are communicating, attracting and maintaining their attention was becoming increasingly difficult.
Teens knew milk was healthy, but it lacked personality and therefore wasn’t top of their desired beverage list.
By speaking their language and delivering a nutrition message in an irreverent way, DDB could remind teens why milk played such an important part of their lives.
The campaign centred on The Weak Shop – a product line, retail entity and online catalogue that featured inventive products made for people who were too weak to perform everyday tasks, like carrying a wallet or lifting a fork.
Two bricks and mortar stores opened in downtown Vancouver. Curious individuals could try products like Towel Clothes, an after-shower item that dries your body as you get dressed. Select products were available for purchase and all money was donated to charity. Milk samples were also distributed on site.
A web store, where visitors could view and order products, was also created at Theweakshop.com. Beyond links to follow The Weak Shop on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr, the website included infomercial parodies. Big hits included Chair Pants, an instant seat for those tired of standing.
A contest invited consumers to submit their own ideas with the winning entry actually developed and added to the Weak Shop catalogue. The Grand Prize winner was Wash Spray – a showerhead equipped with a shower gel dispenser.
The Weak Shop contributed to an overall sales increase of 8% or $17.5 million. Since launch, the infomercials have been viewed 300,000 times and the website has received over 73,000 unique visits without broadcast support. The pop-up stores made an estimated two million impressions, and The Weak Shop appeared in newspaper articles, entertainment venues, an Australian morning radio show, product design websites and to top it all off, Late Night host Jimmy Fallon’s blog.