Loblaw combines President's Choice and No Name in one campaign

The strategy to connect the two brands comes as consumers look to stretch their grocery budgets amid inflation

At a time when grocery shoppers are looking for ways to save money, Loblaw Companies has been running a new campaign that promotes both President’s Choice and No Name in one commercial. 

The anchor for the campaign is a 30-second TV ad that begins in similar fashion to the ongoing President’s Choice “#HeyPC” campaign, with Loblaw chair and president Galen Weston surrounded by PC products and talking about the values and benefits of shopping PC. But, half-way through, Weston hears someone off screen. The camera sweeps to the right and suddenly there’s Weston again only this time he’s standing in the familiar yellow-and-black set associated with the No Name brand

No Name and President’s Choice are both unique brands with distinct voices, and most marketers would hesitate to put brands like that together in the same ad, said Meghan Nameth, senior vice-president, marketing, Loblaw Companies Limited. 

But for much of this year, people have been worried about rising costs caused by inflation, and Loblaw was hearing very clearly that consumers were looking for ways to stretch their grocery budgets. 

“We felt Canadians really needed to hear a message around value. We really wanted to help people understand all the different ways we could bring value to Canadians,” she said. Initially they were focused on PC, including PC Optimum points, PC Mastercards as well as PC food. But then they realized if Loblaw was going to talk about value, it had to talk about something else. 

“The conversation felt incomplete if we didn't include No Name,” said Nameth. 

The challenge was how Loblaw could remind its customers that it was delivering value with both PC and No Name at the same time. 

The solution was to have that distinct No Name essentially talk to President’s Choice – and other Loblaw brands – to remind consumers that it could be part of any value-focused grocery list for Loblaw shoppers. 

“The strategy behind the spot was No Name interrupting PC programming to remind Canadians that they also have great products and low prices— It was connecting the two [brands],” said Nameth. “We felt like keeping Galen as a unifier, but having this alter-ego scenario gave us the best of both worlds.”

The ad has been running on TV since mid August as well as on digital channels, and the campaign launched on social media with No Name similarly “interrupting” the feeds of President’s Choice and other Loblaw brands. The posts have the same tone and straight-forward messaging first introduced by No Name on Twitter in 2019

While it’s only been in market for a few weeks, the campaign shows early signs of success, said Nameth. 

“We’re getting longer watch times on online video, more engagement with the spot, better view-through rates and click-through,” she said. “[Consumers are] also getting the message because we’re getting back the recall on all the core messages across both No Name and PC and PC Financial.”

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