BC Dairy Foundation launches The Weak Shop

The BC Dairy Foundation launches The Weak Shop and opens the first Weak Shop store offering inventions and whimsical gadgets to those of us who are weak from not drinking our milk.

Recognizing that everyone has moments of weakness from not drinking enough milk, the BC Dairy Foundation (BCDF) is pleased to announce the arrival of The Weak Shop, a unique retail entity and sub brand. Featuring inventive products to assist those who are feeling weaker than normal, The Weak Shop recently opened its doors in Vancouver.

“The creation of The Weak Shop sub brand marks a innovative approach to milk marketing. It’s bold, quirky, and talks to teens in an unusual way,” says Liz Gurszky, director of market development and communication, BC Dairy Foundation. “Instead of preaching to teens about health benefits, we’re really driving home our point that milk gives you energy by showing the performance consequences of not drinking enough milk in an offbeat, teen-relevant way.”

BCDF, in partnership with its agency of record DDB Canada and Rob Johnston, an award-winning industrial designer, developed a range of innovative products including, Chair Pants, Food Lift, Wallet Walker and more for The Weak Shop. Now available online, The Weak Shop opened its first retail location at 1058 Granville Street in Vancouver on October 15, 2009 and will open a second location at 530 Broadway Street later this fall.

“The Weak Shop takes the existing Must Drink More Milk creative platform to a whole new level. Our goal is to make milk a more socially relevant beverage choice and encourage consumption over sugary beverage alternatives whenever teens need to perform physically, mentally or socially,” says Dean Lee, creative director, DDB Canada, Vancouver.

The Weak Shop is an inherently digital and social idea that can flow through multiple mediums in a teen’s life. To promote The Weak Shop, DDB Canada developed an integrated campaign that includes TV and online infomercials, digital pre-roll and print, online and out of home advertising. The Weak Shop also has a presence on various social media sites including Flickr and YouTube, and can also be followed on Twitter and fans can join its Facebook page.

The idea for The Weak Shop and the humorous infomercials promoting it stemmed from recent research done on the BCDF’s current “Must Drink More Milk” advertising.

The research showed that teens understand the long-term strength benefits of milk, but they don’t always grasp the short-term gain – the fact that milk gives you energy. This insight was creatively paired with a broader societal desire for short cuts, best exemplified by the explosion of gadgets and miracle tools featured in infomercials and stores.

“The Weak Shop will generate a lot of talk value among teens,” adds Lee. “It’s a creative, entertaining approach that’s completely unexpected for milk. For teens especially, it keeps milk messaging really interesting and fun.”

Additional new products, including software and iPhone applications will be available later this fall.

BCDF invites people to submit their ideas that could be developed and added to The Weak Shop catalogue. The winner of the open-source product development contest will win a MacBook Pro with Adobe creative suite and will work with an industrial designer to develop their prototype and learn first-hand about the product development cycle. Weekly and monthly prizes will also be awarded.

The proceeds of all product sales from The Weak Shop will go directly to KidSport BC, a community based sport-funding program that provides grants for children to participate in a sport.
Agencies: DDB Canada / Vancouver, DDB Canada / Tribal Vancouver
Creative Director: Dean Lee / Cosmo Campbell
Copywriter: Kevin Rathgeber
Art Director: Colin Hart
Agency Producer: Ryan McCormick
Account Director: Brett MacFarlane
Account Coordinator: Lena Dawson
Designer: Ellie Moon
Production Designer: Yuan You
Developer: Justin McLeod
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