2018 Winner


Well Worn


BronzeTurnaround Strategy

Never forget where you come from. During a period of growth in stores, sales, and assortment, Mark’s became so focused on short-term financial results that it lost touch with why they were in business in the first place: their commitment to hard-working Canadians. Mark’s was once a lesser-known retailer with gritty character and a connection to hard work, but it had become a behemoth known mainly for discounts. While year-round sales helped retain older customers, they failed to attract younger Canadians, who dismissed the retailer as a functional place for their dads. Mark’s no longer reflected the values they shared with Canadians and that lived at the root of the business.

The team started by examining the values Mark’s was founded on. The insight revealed was that, at its core, the brand embodies the spirit of hard work and that hard work is a value Canadians hold dear. It is a truth that is as relevant to a 45-year-old in Saskatoon as it is to a 30-year-old in downtown Toronto. Unlike many retailers, Mark’s was established as a store that blue-collar Canadians could rely on for quality clothing that worked for them while they worked hard. The brand needed to redefine “industrial” for a modern age, to instill a sense of pride and appreciation for the brand’s roots, so they could connect with Canadians in a meaningful way beyond sales.

The intersection of Canadian values and Mark’s roots was the vehicle for a distinctive brand that would be authentic to Mark’s and relevant to a contemporary Canadian audience. The team set out to make Mark’s a badge, synonymous with the story of hard work, grit, and perseverance in Canada.

To revive Mark’s roots and celebrate the spirit of hardworking Canadians, “Well Worn” was created. The qualities of industrial workers were expanded to encompass a conviction Canadians share, which was applied to the campaign as a whole. Well Worn was led by three key brand pillars: Strength of Character, celebrating the commitment of Canadians to live life by their values; Wearing It Well, highlighting the confidence of Canadians to wear clothes their own way; and finally, Durability of Products, capturing Mark’s product quality that can be counted on, just like those who wear it.

Well Worn was launched to achieve three objectives: to build an emotional connection with Canadians, to enhance Mark’s shopping experience, and to change perceptions of Mark’s. Well Worn made its debut with an emotive 60-second TV spot that was hard to ignore. It told the Well Worn story through the lens of hard-working Canadians. It highlighted a range of men and women connected through living their lives “well worn.” The same story was told through shorter 30-second TV, digital video, and through a massive out-of-home presence.

To create a physical presence and enhance the shopping experience for Mark’s customers, more than 85 Mark’s stores were re-merchandised to reflect the new Well Worn look and feel. The Mark’s store in Toronto’s Eaton Centre was fully transformed into the first Well Worn concept store. Determined to change perceptions of Mark’s, three pop-up shops were opened in Calgary, Toronto, and Halifax to showcase the Well Worn brand and assortment. Additionally, the team worked with Canadian country music star Brett Kissel and other influencers to maximize noise and attention for Mark’s new identity. Finally, Well Worn was leveraged in tactical communications using various channels, including direct, social, flyers, display ads, and more.

A Google Brand Lift study showed that among the key audience of 25 to 34-year-olds, the Well Worn videos had a 4102% lift in creative interest and a 25% lift in ad recall. Well Worn received over 60 pieces of media/PR coverage across print, radio, and television, totalling six million organic impressions. Additionally, over 75 media influencers mentioned Well Worn during the launch. A digital-sentiment analysis showed Canadians had an overwhelmingly positive sentiment towards Well Worn, finding it to be authentic and relatable. Mark’s saw an increase in same-store sales of 3.4% and solidified their number one position in market share for jeans sales. E-commerce revenue from emails increased by 209%, compared to before Well Worn.

Mark's Credits

Susan O’Brien – SVP, Marketing
David Lui – VP, Marketing
David Soyka – AVP, Content Marketing
Sean Goodwin – Manager, Strategic Marketing
Lindsay Powell – Campaign Specialist
Penney McTaggart-Cowan (*former AVP Marketing, Planning & Strategy)

TAXI Credits

Scott Beffort - General Manager
Michael Strasser - Managing Director
Joshua Dick - Account Director
Maggie Sylvester - Account Supervisor
Julian Morgan - Former Account Supervisor

Jordan Doucette - Former Chief Creative Officer
Sam Cote - Copywriter
Ryan Dzur - Art Director
Brooke Hennessy - Creative Director, Design
Melissa Medwyk - Senior Designer
Andrew O'Driscoll - Digital Illustrator/Retoucher

Jack Dayan - VP, Head of Strategy

Steve Emmens - Head of Production
Sharon Govang - Andrew O'Driscoll

Video Production Credits

Production House - Asymetric
Kasper Larski - Director
Evan Landry - Executive Producer
Oli Millar - Cinematographer (DP)
Jeff Pangman - Line Producer

Post-house, Offline - Married to Giants
Monica Remba - Offline Editor
Jacqueline Pietrangelo - Assistant Editor
Denise Shearer - Executive Producer

Post-house, Online - Alter Ego
David Whiteson - Compositor
Conor Fisher - Transfer
Hilda Pereira - Executive Producer

Music-house - Eggplant
Rocco Gagliese - Music Director
Nathan Handy - Engineer
Nicola Treadgold - Executive Producer

Print Production Credits

Production House - Westside Studio
Matt Barnes - Photography
Natalie D'Urbano - Executive Producer

Production House - Asymetric
Kasper Larski - Photographer
Evan Landry - Executive Producer

For submission inquiries, please contact Clare O'Brien at cobrien@brunico.com.
For partnership inquiries, please contact Neil Ewen at newen@brunico.com.