Monday, September 3, 2018

What Makes a Great Ad Campaign?

Put my friend Melanie in it, of course!

When Melanie told me earlier in the summer that she was going to be part of a very exciting project I was thrilled for her, and very curious to know what it was, but it was all very hush-hush until last week.

Nordstrom, a U.S - based fashion retailer, first opened its doors in Canada in 2014.  On August 27th, they launched their first national ad campaign created specifically for the Canadian market.  The campaign, titled True Nord, was produced in partnership with Toronto-based advertising agency, Ogilvy, and was shot by Canadian-born photographer and Director Justin Tyler Close.  It features a diverse cast of 13 Canadian stylish personalities, and the title, True Nord, combines the short form of Nordstrom with french and English lyrics from our National Anthem (Nord is french for North).  

 The digital media part of the campaign, which was shot in and around Toronto (watch for Melanie on the streetcar)

I think the campaign did an excellent job in capturing the eclectic cultural diversity of our country.  Watching it reminded me of just how fortunate I am to be living here - True North indeed.

Melanie invited myself, and fellow bloggers Suzanne and Patti to celebrate with her at the campaign launch, held at the Broadview Hotel in Toronto.   We met in Melanie's hotel room beforehand to toast her with champagne and snacks provided by Suzanne.  Suzanne (left) was wearing a beautiful vintage maxi she purchased from the Ian Drummond Collection, and Patti (right) rocked a cool dress she purchased from Suzanne's Etsy shop.  Our star in the middle was wearing an outfit from Nordstrom, and will no doubt be setting a trend with her multiple hair clips (which came out for the party).

It was wonderful to watch Mel as she moved through the party, laughing and chatting with fellow models, Nordstrom staff and other attendees.  She was on cloud 9 (more like 99) and I was so proud of her.

Melanie chats to Michelle Haggard, VP and Regional Manager for Nordstrom's Canadian Stores.
I loved her bird patterned dress.

More photos from the print campaign.  On the left is Harjas Singh with Estelle Habermayer.  Unfortunately, I didn't get the name of the model in the other photo.

There was music provided by a DJ and a violinist

You could sample oysters served to you by a very attractive oyster shucker

It was another stiflingly hot day and fortunately part of the rooftop patio was enclosed and air-conditioned.  It was a lovely space and the natural light was great for photos.  Above, Biko Beauttah, United Nations Goodwill Glambassador and founder of TransWorkforce, chats with another guest while her segment of the campaign video plays on a large screen in the background.

Yolanda Largie, co-founder of The Canadian Curvies, is also part of the campaign

The man in the Gucci suit

campaign model Ishie Wang

Toronto Stylist Harjas Singh, one of the models in the campaign, wearing a marvelous shirt from Nordstrom.

Easily the prettiest shoes at the party

Model, blogger, photographer and stylist Mirian Njoh poses with her photo from the campaign

Another model from the campaign, Jazmin Katz, caught in an unguarded moment

Estelle Habermayer, the youngest model in the campaign, had the most energy of anyone at the party and twirled, jumped and danced in her party-perfect star-spangled dress.  I was wishing I would have worn a dress like that, accessorized with sequinned cat ears, instead of the striped cotton tent I ended up wearing.  Comfort before style seems to have become my motto this summer.

It was great to see so many people at the party wearing bold colours and patterns.  This woman had her jumpsuit made for her from upholstery fabric that felt like barkcloth.  Her glasses made an equally strong style statement.

Suzanne managed to snap this group shot of the campaign models with Michelle Haggard over the heads of the crowd of people in front of us.

Alas, the only shot of the four of us from the evening, taken before the party with Suzanne's selfie stick.    We were photographed together by someone who appeared to be hired for the party but I have no idea where those photos ended up.  You can see more photos from the event on Melanie's and Suzanne's blogs.

It was a truly grand night out with friends, and I was so glad I was able to be there to celebrate with Melanie.  I'm sure this is just the beginning of a long and exciting adventure for her.


  1. What a fun night that was! I'm delighted you were able to make it into Toronto and we even managed to squeeze in supper before your caught your bus back.

    Thanks heavens I brought my selfie stick! Ha!

    Love that Lena Dunham style woman in the jumpsuit and funky glasses.


  2. So proud of Melanie, and so wonderful that you all could celebrate there with her! I love all these pictures, Shelley, thanks!

  3. Another great roundup of Mel's campaign party. Many different photos of the various models which is nice. Speaking of nice...everyone looks so darn nice! Go Canada!

    You may have dressed for the heat...but I think you looked lovely and with great style!

    1. Thanks Sue, I think I'm just getting tired of dressing for the ridiculously hot and humid weather we've had.

  4. I was thrilled that you could make it to Toronto for the evening, Shelley. Your write-up here not only catches the spirit of our mini meetup, but it also puts the campaign into the larger perspective that I think makes it so special. You dazzled in that bold beautiful dress. Hugs. PS The curly-haired model is Jazmin Katz. I found out after that her mum knows me from IG, but didn't know I was working with her daughter on this campaign. Hahaha.

  5. I feel like sharing all the fun and enthusiasm and also feel envious!
    It's so fantastic that you could meet Melanie in the party and have fun and enjoy all the fab atmosphere!
    And you look really elegant And comfy (I don't know why these two qualities are considered incompatible!). You totally rock!

    1. Thank you Monica! I was disappointed I couldn't wear something more interesting as there were lots of other people there in very cool outfits.

  6. That's so exciting! Well done to Melanie, she's a superstar!
    Loving that group shot of the four of you and more than a little in love with Harjas Singh! xxx

    1. Harjas was very nice, in addition to being attractive and well-dressed!

  7. Such incredibly stylish women!

  8. What a great recap, Shelley. It was almost like being there. The excitement of it all really comes through with the great pictures your were able to capture. I luv how the Mel Team looks so fabulous all in their own unique style. I mean in every way from each person's hair style and color, to their clothes, shoes and accessories. Way to celebrate good times.

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