The Trailer Park Boys (TPB) is a Canadian mockumentary television series following the misadventures of a group of trailer park residents. In its twelfth season with several feature spin-offs, it is now available on Netflix (IMDB), is aired in over 200 countries, and is a recognised brand worldwide. The Trailer Park Boys’ approach to marketing has traditionally been grassroots, managing their social media and promotions on their own behalf. Since the show premiered in 2001, they have built strong brand awareness without the assistance of an agency. The brand has expanded to offer product line extensions, including merchandise & clothing, beer, and whisky.
In 2018, the TPB engaged Time & Space to drive nation-wide awareness and brand affinity for their Freedom 35 Lager and Liquormen’s Dirty Ol’ Canadian Whisky. Additionally, they wanted to grow awareness of their official branded merchandise and increase sales on their website, providing fans with an authentic alternative to the unofficial merchandise available on the internet. During their first foray into a full, paid campaign, it was important to them to offer their fans something of value in a genuine, creative, manner.
This is an unconventional client relationship on a number of different levels. Most importantly, the division of labour and roles on the account are unusual. Time & Space is treated as an arm of their business, acting as the marketing department in collaboration with their strong social media and events team. Time & Space engaged our long-term agency partner Arrivals & Departures to develop the creative concepts to be used on the campaign. And, because it’s their bread and butter, the client produces, shoots, and edits the spots.
Using proprietary research techniques & tools and the enormous depth of data from the client’s own following, Time & Space created a profile of the key target customer, outlining where they were and how they could be reached. We created a distinct consumer persona named “Joe,” whose interests and consumption habits are in line with those of the brand.
Trailer Park Boys fans are dedicated and passionate so we knew the creative needed to be just right. We dove deeply into Joe’s preferences, the brand, and the client goals to build a creative brief – and we engaged our partner Arrivals & Departures in the development of some uproarious scripts, POS, and digital display ads. The client pulled off exceptionally produced video spots in varying lengths – all tying back to the tag line: “It’s the park talking”.
On the media side, we created a strategy to engage with new users like Joe and re-engage with users who have visited the TPB or Swearnet website or liked or followed TPB on Facebook and Instagram by leveraging paid ads and Instagram Stories. We also engaged directly with TPB YouTube Channel Subscribers with strong messaging to drive traffic to the merchandise page. Timing of these engagements was focused around key events like the Netflix launch of Season 12 and local beer festivals.
We used the programmatic ecosystem to extend reach and follow Joe across his devices and web browsing to educate & entertain him with engaging video content to make the campaign as successful as possible.
During this period, a North American tour was underway. We promoted merchandise to those who were likely to be attending those shows. The Canadian tour dates included strategically scheduled appearances in liquor stores to drive sales of Freedom 35 and Liquormen’s whisky. We helped to build awareness and drive visits to these events in Calgary, Edmonton, Maple Ridge, and Halifax.
The campaign has been a true success. Video drove strong awareness and affinity with 4.2 million video views with between 41 – 45% video completion rate – a number well above the benchmarks for YouTube campaigns. The Trailer Park Boys, always the trend makers and breakers, saw the unusual viewership activity of longer videos performing better than shorter ones; which is generally unheard of. This is a testament to the powerful trifecta of a robust brand, strong & entertaining creative, and really effective targeting. The right message was getting to the right people, causing the right action.
Purchase intent and merchandise sales were driven mostly by social channels. Throughout the initial campaign, we’ve seen positive results and have had an increase in purchases in the early part of the summer campaign. We’ve also extended the campaign to include the US market for the summer.
The spring campaign was a great success, and learnings from this campaign have helped us keep things fresh and drive the best results for this exciting brand going forward.