Going out of business? Why not launch a digital campaign.

Zellers might be going out of business, but the company hasn’t let that stop them from launching an inherently shareable social campaign.

Meet Zeddy.

Zeddy is the Zellers mascot, beloved by many. When Zellers goes out of business, Zeddy will be out of a job. This is how they broke the news (stay tuned for the follow-up video where Zeddy attempts to acclimate to his new environment):

I can’t get over the hilarity of the Castaway reference. Point for you, Zellers.

All of these YouTube shenanigans push to the company’s Facebook page, where fans are able to enter a contest to Adopt Zeddy. Users are encouraged to explain why they want to adopt the loveable bear. 3 semi-finalists will be selected and featured in their own short video (and will receive a $500 HBC gift card). The company is engaging their online community in the judging process as well, with the winner being chosen through Facebook from the three semi-finalists. The grand prize? $5000 to a charity of the winner’s choice.

This might seem like a huge waste (and  I’m sure most would choose to simply write off a liquidating company), but Zellers has proven that a social campaign can breathe new life into a brand – even when everyone knows it’s doomed.  Zellers will certainly go out with a bang thanks to this innovative campaign and, as I’m sure was the objective, be left with absolutely nothing on their shelves (and extra cash in their pockets).

Kudos to HBC for giving a proper send-off to a Canadian company. I’ll certainly be tuning in to see where Zeddy ends up.

Credit where credit’s due: Kudos to Toronto wedding singer Kat Langdon for the find!

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  • I actually think this was an impressive strategic move by HBC. Zellers has a loyal customer base that is much older than our generation. Creating something shareable that acknowledges that loyalty in the face of (seemingly) little return is a way to increase loyalty in a new bracket. Almost “selfless”. Really smart.

    • This was an amazing find, Kat. There were huge strategic brains behind this – I’m curious if there will be some sort of transition once all of the Zellers stores are officially and completely closed. We’ll have to wait and see!

  • GwinTinTin

    I’m going to really miss the restaurant inside all of those Zellers stores. Sad to see another Canadian company go, guess we can hope Target does not become a huge flop when it gets here like Marshalls was…