Quark aims to ‘own Vancouver’ with launch

Quark aims to ‘own Vancouver’ with launch

A new baby product startup has planned an ambitious launch campaign that borrows inspiration from Dyson and Apple in a bid to own Vancouver and establish itself in the hearts and homes of Canadian consumers.

The company, Quark, is looking to make an immediate splash with parents – particularly millennials and Gen Z – and differentiate itself from the competition by acknowledging that, while parenting can be hard, it can be made easier by the products parents use every day. Enter the company’s products, many of which are smart-enabled and easily deconstructed for cleaning.

The products are promoted through eye-catching orange ads emblazoned with clever slogans – think Apple, with its bright neon displays – as well as animatics that show the products being deconstructed into their smaller components in a fashion similar to vacuum manufacturer Dyson.

“It’s so incredibly easy to start a brand right now, but if you look at the research, Canadians have a huge aversion to targeted ads,” says Garett Senez, a veteran marketer and a partner in the business. “So if you’re going to do things, you have to do them right and you’ve got to cut through the clutter.”

Quark’s approach to doing that by embracing a level of humor that other baby brands tend to shy away from. “Everybody is very safe in this space right now, which isn’t where we really want to be. We’re not a sarcastic brand in our tone, but we’re still fun and lighthearted and we’re not afraid to poke fun at things that are on trend, because that’s where millennials and Gen Z – our market – are.”

Quark is promoting its products through an omnichannel campaign that showcases both its humour and its products. The campaign is due to launch May 1 and includes a heavy OOH element focused on the Vancouver market, with some placements elsewhere in the country. The strategy is less about building loyalty at the moment, and more about building immediate awareness, particularly in the company’s home market.

“We’re owning Vancouver – that’s the strategy,” Senez says. “We have billboards booked on both sides of the Burrard, Second Narrows, Granville and Lion’s Gate bridges. We have transit programs – 11 downtown trolley buses and 50 different shelters geotargeted within the areas of our clients, Walmart and London Drugs. We have mass digital materials and we have advertorial.”

The campaign also includes high-profile bookings in other markets, such as Yonge and Dundas Square in downtown Toronto, Senez says – but those are mostly just to “get things started” nationally.  “Once distribution picks up and we have uptick,” he adds, “We’re going ham.”

In addition to the strong OOH presence, Quark has “a mass of digital materials” and will be running advertorial with an array of publications, including the National Post and Vancouver Sun, as well as web and print publications that target parents, such as Today’s Parent and Canadian Living. That, coupled with a strong in-store element including display programs at its retail partners London Drugs and Walmart will help the brand drive sales.

Ultimately, the goal is to create resonance and connect with parents, wherever they may be, in a “relevant and meaningful way,” Senez says.

“You can throw a bunch of touchpoints at someone but if it doesn’t resonate, you’re going to need to do a lot more,” he explains.

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