2021 Winner

Harry Rosen

Set the Tone

Zulu Alpha Kilo

SilverEvolution Strategy: Keeping it Fresh

Over seven decades, Harry Rosen became Canada’s most iconic menswear retailer. But recently, it was becoming known as the place where your dad bought his suit. The average customer age was increasing and customer perception did not reflect the fact that they offered accessible fashion from some of the world’s leading designers. The brand’s biggest fear was becoming irrelevant to a new generation of men. The business needed to be repositioned to reflect how Harry’s offering has shifted. Success in this modernization would be measured based on an increase in online sales and the performance of a new, more youthful offering.

Speaking to clients, as well as stylists and buyers the agency understood Harry Rosen’s legacy in menswear was entrenched as ‘the place to buy a suit’. Not surprising with decades of focus on suits for businessmen. However, the world of men’s luxury fashion is changing. While men will always crave and need an excellent suit, for most, a suit is no longer a day-to-day requirement. In fact, a suit was too one dimensional for how most defined style for themselves – which led them to other places, besides Harry Rosen, for style inspiration.

For Harry Rosen to modernize, they needed to connect with what style means for today’s client. Founder Harry Rosen felt his role was to help men feel their most confident. Almost 70 years later, the agency’s research revealed a similar theme. Clients and stylists, both shared a similar perspective that how they felt in their fashion was almost more important than what they were wearing. When they were able to define their own personal style, their confidence and pride opened up and their belief in what they could achieve did as well. When you feel your best, you do your best.

When people dress with confidence, they have the ability to “Set The Tone.” Inspired by a phrase often used in pre-game sports, and also boardrooms, “Set The Tone” is a call to step up and get started, be it a big meeting, time with loved ones or your community. It delivers a modern purpose for style today: “Feel Good. Do Good.”

This represented a significant evolution from the brand’s heritage. Previously known for suits that reflected what was collectively understood to represent good taste, this set Harry Rosen up to shift its perception from being ‘the place I go when I need a great suit’ to ‘where I go to form my own personal style’.

They created a launch film and TV campaign, supported by a series of social and digital assets all highlighting the ‘Set The Tone’ platform. The film that ran on television and online showed a man passionately delivering a monologue about setting the one in all of life’s moments that matter. The video and social content intentionally featured more casual, fashion-forward styles to communicate the confidence offerings to a younger audience.

They also took a more purposeful approach to casting, with a focus on diverse role models in the community. Lead actor Emmanuel Kabongo actually sets the tone in his personal life by coaching at various sports camps to help kids build confidence and promote leadership in the community.
In further demonstration of living the ‘Feel good. Do good.” brand purpose, they collaborated with Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri on a not-for-profit collection titled ‘Humanity’. Released amid the social turmoil of 2020, the socially conscious collection raised funds for Black Youth Helpline.

A “Set The Tone” Webinar Series was also developed. It invited Canadian thought leaders and role models to talk about current events, their passions and how they set the tone for their personal and professional lives.

Harry Rosen’s brand transformation has been held up as a best-in-class reinvention by the business community. The evolution story has been featured in podcasts and industry organizations, and more than a dozen business publications. Online sales grew 180% year-over-year and eCommerce now constitutes the biggest ‘store’ for the brand. Since the brand relaunch, engagement and positive sentiment on social platforms has hit all-time highs. On Instagram, for example, engagement rates have increased 63% and monthly impressions have increased by 39%.

Most importantly, they have helped the brand become relevant to a new generation and started to live the values, proving that when you feel good, you’re better armed to do good for yourself and others.

Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo
Chief Creative Officer: Zak Mroueh
Executive Creative Director: Wain Choi
ACD / Art Director: Kevin Sato
ACD / Writer: Vinay Parmar
Designers: Jeff Watkins, Vince Rozas, Zoe Kim, Kevin Sato
Account Team: Mike Sutton, Eric Kormos
Planning Team: Tim Hopkins, Sean Bell
Agency Producer: Christine Taranco
Client: Harry Rosen
Clients: Trinh Tham, Sarah Berger, Maricar Dionisio
Media Agency: Carins Oneil
Media Team: Tim Hughes, Barbara Glover, Valentina Dybka, Marc-Andre Giasson
Production House: Asymetric
Director: Kacper Larski
DOP: Christophe Collette
Producer: Katy Maravala
Executive Producers: Evan Landry, Nick Burry
Edit House: Outsider Editorial
Editor: Chris Murphy, Cam Anderson
Assistant Editor: Lia Han
Producer: Kayan Choi
Executive Producers: John Szebegyinski, Kristina Anzlinger
Post Production Company: Alter Ego
Colourist: Conor Fisher
Colour Assistant: Jonah Venneri
Flame Artist: Eric Perrella
VFX Assistant: Victoria Gaston
Producer: Pallavi Joshi-Firby
Music House: SNDWRX
Creative Director, Music Composition: Didier Tovel
Executive Producer: Ali Lawee
Engineers: Eric Hulme, Geoff Devine
Photographer: Kacper Larski
Illustrator: Steven Noble
Retoucher: Jim Tinios
Mac Artist: Greg Heptinstall, Jeannette Downes

Have questions? Need help?
Contact Rowan Traynor at 1-416-408-2300 x213 or rtraynor@brunico.com.