Canfor shakes off its ‘best price’ brand narrative with a stunning stand-alone campaign.

When a sustainable lumber, pulp and paper producer asked us to develop a stand-alone campaign with its own dedicated look-and-feel.

The client

Clients on Planet V aren’t all tech-shaped. So when Canfor – one of the world’s largest producers of sustainable lumber, pulp and paper, and a North American leader in green energy production – got in touch to ask if we could help them develop a stand-alone campaign with its own dedicated look-and-feel, we immediately climbed the nearest tree and shouted from the top: “Yes, we can!”

The crux

Canfor has seen steady growth since it was formed nearly a century ago, without much need for marketing as a result. But as evolving vendor behavior, green issues and supply chain uncertainty all began to change what had been a slow and siloed industry, Canfor wanted to be proactive in their marketing efforts to gain more market share of the mass timber construction pie.

Canfor’s lumber and timber was already being used in the building of wood-based buildings via a supplier. But Canfor wanted to increase awareness of the fact that their many years of experience meant they could provide a reliable supply of ‘just-in-time’ timber to sites in Canada and North America to prevent building projects being held up due to snow, floods and other unpredictable factors.

A slick new positioning

Our first task was to shake off the ‘best price’ narrative of Canfor’s existing positioning. They needed something that would give them a more unique fit in the wider market. One workshop full of Big Questions™ later and we’d figured it out: against a backdrop of volatile supply chains, we pitched Canfor as a partner, not a vendor; and no longer a product-led company, but a service provider – an empathetic driver of sustainable innovation.

A strong campaign

When it came to the campaign theme, we knew that aligning Canfor with mass timber construction would help them attract a roll-call of relevant profiles: from architects and engineers to building contractors and even journalists. And we wanted to go bold.

‘Mass Timber Is The Future’ ticked all the right boxes: it helped Canfor showcase its lumber expertise, enable audience segmentation and tie its appeal to wider industry issues. The concept was also highly scalable from a content perspective; and it hit the sweet spot for Google’s education, authority and trust search guidelines.

New look and feel

Next up was the look-and-feel for the campaign. The challenge was to push the brand into more creative territory but not going so far that it alienated Canfor’s existing clients. It had to be recognizably Canfor, but also fresh enough to add something new to the brand look-and-feel.

So we produced a campaign playbook that established key design criteria and guidelines for a new visual language, including a simplified core color palette, bolder and more modern typography and a number of recurring motifs.

Delivering the goods

To execute Mass Timber Is The Future, we built them a microsite that would act as a central point for the campaign, housing bold, comprehensive and educational content around the topic. The microsite included key assets in several formats:

  • Scrolling long page
    “Why are people talking about Mass Timber?” explores the growing popularity of mass timber in construction and positions Canfor’s as a strategic industry partner.
  • Interactive glossary
    Not everyone’s familiar with the ins and outs of mass timber, so this A-Z educates readers while putting in some hard yards for Canfor’s search credentials.
  • Case-study heavy eBook
    “Mass Timber’s Mass Appeal: How Big Tech Fell In Love” dials up the FOMO by showcasing how some of Big Tech’s biggest names are already reaping the benefits of building with mass timber.
  • Glitzy promotional video
    Swooping pan-shots and a heartfelt voiceover collide to produce a powerful short video all about Canfor’s role as mass timber’s guardians. If you like stunning vistas, give it a watch.
  • Promotional toolkit
    Getting people into the theater is as important as the show itself. So we put together a toolkit of performance ads – all shapes and sizes, animated and static — to capture imagination and draw viewers to the microsite.