Canadian shopping centre owner Cadillac Fairview has launched a marketing campaign to entice consumers to rediscover the retail experience in malls and it’s using the popular TikTok video-sharing app to reach a wide audience.
“Over the last year and a half, Canadians have craved a sense of community that has long been associated with CF shopping centres as vibrant spaces that foster connection and a sense of belonging. This campaign is all about how good it feels to reunite with the people we love, together in the communities we love. What better way to celebrate that than with a TikTok dance?” said Jason Anderson, Senior Vice President Brand, Marketing, Communications at Cadillac Fairview. “This year at CF, we redefined our position in the communities we serve as one that combats detachment and social isolation.
“It certainly has been a challenging 18 months and if we go back to March 2020 what we know is that millions of Canadians made going to the mall a regular habit and that’s been challenged since March 2020. At the end of the day, we’re a company that owns the best shopping centres in the country and for the better part of a year and a half people either haven’t been able to get into the mall or haven’t wanted to go to the mall. As we’ve been doing research every few months what we’ve realized is that Canadians are being pretty clear about the fact that they want to get back to what they love the most.
“And they’re telling us that the time they spend at the mall is one of those things they want to get back to.”
Anderson said the idea for Rediscover That Feeling came about while thinking about how the shopping centre owner could rebuild the habit of the shopping centre in people’s lives. It led to this idea of rediscovery – people can rediscover the things they miss the most and the shopping centre plays a role in that.
“We need to appeal to all Canadians and certainly with younger Canadians as we look at the Millennial generation and the Gen Z generation, we know that TikTok is probably their favourite platform right now. So we saw TikTok as a great way to connect with younger Canadians,” said Anderson.
Anderson said CF stumbled upon an old television commercial from the Toronto Eaton Centre dating back to the 1980s. It was a fun commercial of people dancing and having fun in the mall. That was the inspiration for the current campaign.
“All of a sudden TikTok just came to us as this amazing partnership opportunity because they have a great way to connect with young people and they’re so focused in music and dance and having fun that we gave TikTok a shout and they’ve been amazing partners and they’ve been incredible to work with,” said Anderson.
“It’s really been a match made in heaven.”
The song for the campaign is an original one created by TikTok.
The campaign includes specific content that has been directed by award-winning director-editor Sean Cartwright, featuring four popular creators serving “main character energy” and meme-worthy dance moves set to an original song. The lyrics “Rediscover That Feeling” aim to inspire excitement for the return to CF destinations of retail, entertainment, cuisine and human connection. Canadians across the country are encouraged to participate in the movement by sharing their own “happy dance” on TikTok using the hashtag #MeetYouThere and tagging @cadillacfairview, said the shopping centre owner.
Canadian TikTok dance trio Basement Gang leads the national campaign with their signature “drip” and comedic style that have attracted nearly four million followers to the @basementgang TikTok page.
“As a group that reps the Greater Toronto Area, CF Toronto Eaton Centre holds a special place in our hearts, so it has been awesome to represent the ‘six’ and bring our moves to a bigger dance floor,” said Kadeem Hemmings, a member of Basement Gang. “Our vibe is all about joy and positivity, and we can’t wait for our Canadian community to rediscover that same feeling at CF malls.”
Creative partnerships also include Shina Nova (@shinanova on TikTok), an Inuk throat singer in Montreal; James Jones (@notoriouscree on TikTok), a traditional Indigenous hoop dance artist in Alberta; and Mykenna Dorn (@mykenna on TikTok), a lifestyle influencer based in Vancouver.
Cadillac Fairview has also bought media with TikTok.
“Cadillac Fairview has committed to ‘Transforming Communities for a Vibrant Tomorrow,’ a purpose that puts positivity and human connection at the core of everything we do,” added Anderson. “In the age of TikTok, and everything we’ve gone through, dance has never felt more like a powerful medium of celebration and connection, and we’re proud to work with these emerging artists to reconnect our shoppers and communities.”
The campaign spans digital (in-mall signage, digital directories, newsletters) digital out of home, radio, video (YouTube, online news outlets and DirectTV), Google ads, as well as social media with paid support on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok.
Anderson said within the Rediscover That Feeling video content, people can click in the bottom right corner of the screen and they can actually have access to the song if they want to recreate the dance of the Basement Gang.
The TikTok portion of the campaign will run for about two weeks but it’s part of a broader campaign for about three months. The campaign is on hold temporarily in Alberta due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the province.
“With foot traffic being down in our properties, it’s more important that we have a media presence so that Canadians can remember and rebuild the habit of revisiting the mall as we come out of this pandemic,” said Anderson.
“For us, this is really an extension of our purpose. We’re a purpose-driven organization. We believe deeply in the idea that people are being pulled apart and at our core we’re in the business of bringing people back together and so what we’re really focused on is how do we create these amazing moments that bring people together.”