Joann DIYs at home with ‘The Office’ Phyllis in holiday campaign

Diving brief:

  • Joann is launching a three-part documentary-style web series, “Working From Home With Phyllis,” featuring Phyllis Smith, the actress best known for her role as Phyllis in “The Office.” Each episode shows Smith trying to balance his love of crafting with working from home, according to details emailed to Marketing Dive.
  • The episodes also feature craft influencers Vincent Green-Hite, Britney Brown-Chamberlin and Charlotte Smith and will air biweekly beginning Nov. 9 on Joann.com and YouTube. The craft retailer will also air trailers on national cable and streaming networks, including Hallmark, Food Network, Discovery and Hulu.
  • Joann’s holiday push taps into — and parodies — pandemic-spurred behaviors like homework and crafts, while building on the continued popularity of “The Office.” After the series airs, Joann will host a raffle that will include prizes featuring some of the series’ elements.

Overview of the dive:

Joann’s holiday campaign finds levity in spoofing pandemic-spurred behaviors like working from home and crafting, with help from a familiar face from “The Office.” Connecting with consumers at home will be important for marketers this holiday season as families hunker down during the cold winter months amid the pandemic. Providing consumers with activities, crafts and video content will be one way for families to keep the holiday spirit going.

“With so many people looking for ways to get through a very difficult year, we wanted to provide some levity as well as encouragement for people to try something new,” Joann’s chief creative officer Richard Vollmer said in a statement. communicated.

The holiday web series, created with agency Where Eagles Dare, takes a familiar “Office-like” approach, featuring an instrumental theme song and familiar shots of an alarm clock and coffee maker, to deliver its message. Yet it responds to the current reality of working from home. In the first episode, for example, Smith uses a life-size cutout of herself to free up manufacturing time during long Zoom calls. Upcoming episodes include a virtual holiday cookie swap and neighborhood wreath contest, as well as real-life craft influencers that portray neighbors lending a hand when creations go awry.

Although it ceased airing in 2013, the show’s popularity remains strong with audiences and marketers alike. Earlier this year, Panera featured Smith in a campaign that responded to angry tweets, and Brian Baumgartner (who plays Kevin) appeared in a campaign for Bush’s Beans that capitalized on a popular scene in which his character spills chili peppers. On the ground.

Although it was created to be streamed, “The Office” has proven surprisingly popular in the age of streaming. The misadventures of the Scranton, Pa. subsidiary of Dunder-Mifflin Paper Co. accounted for nearly 3% of total US Netflix viewing in 2018, more than ‘Friends’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Parks’. and Recreation,” according to The Wall Street. Log. As Comcast prepared to launch its Peacock streaming service, NBCUniversal paid around $500 million to reclaim the show’s streaming rights. The show has also proven surprisingly popular with Gen Z, who marketers might be looking to reach with these campaigns.

Joann previously responded to consumer needs during the pandemic with her “Make to Give” campaign, which gave viewers templates and tips for making their own masks. The effort has provided about 300 million masks to Americans through store and business donations, as well as customer mask purchases.

About Tracy G. Larimore

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