The Container Store’s Brilliant Play on Outer Space

Posted on by Patty Odell

The Container Store is out with a new campaign that is not about its products—containers and other space-saving items—but about what the products can do for you.

A series of 30-second films reminds us in amusing ways of all the annoying and frustrating space issues many of us face. The storylines are all based on research that revealed important customer insights.

“The resounding insight was that across all of our customer targets, the need to maximize their space was a challenge they could all relate with,” says CMO Melissa Collins.

In one spot, “Trapped in the Void,” a scene unfolds in a kitchen as a husband and wife prepare a meal. The man opens a drawer stuffed with containers, but can’t get it shut because a lid has fallen behind the drawer. The mom calls out for her son to help. “Ray, we need your gangly teens arm please.” Ray removes the lid and a selection of neatly lined-up container products appears in the drawer,  with the voiceover and new tagline, “Where Space Comes From.”

The spots all tie back to outer space, referencing cosmic happenings and how those happenings translate to human space issues. In the “Unexplained Disappearance” spot, the problem of not being able to find a pizza cutter in a draw bluging with kitchen tools is equated to the “objects that have been known to disappear in space, buried by layers of cosmic debris.”

The 30-second storytelling spots are part of The Container Store’s new campaign to celebrate its 40th anniversary and are distributed on national cable, local broadcast and streaming video. In addition, bite-sized videos can be viewed online, along with a robust push of the creative idea through OOH, radio, magazine and in-store signage.

“This is our biggest branding effort to-date,” Collins says. “Until now, we have focused our marketing efforts primarily on specific seasonal sales as well as local marketing to introduce stores.”

To track results, The Container Store will monitor awareness, consideration and new customer acquisition. The campaign messages aim to reach consumers at various life stages through stories they can relate to like buying a new home, growing families and downsizing.

“We saw an opportunity to talk to new customers we may not have been speaking to directly in the past,” she says . “We felt we had to have a campaign that would speak to both new and existing customers while clearly articulating our purpose to help our customers accomplish their projects, maximize their space and make the most out of their homes.”

The Container Store hired Preacher, which created the campaign, as its first outside agency.

“We’re focusing on the naturalism, the realism of these all-too-relatable situations. That’s why ‘Where Space Comes From’ is the perfect tagline for this campaign,” says Rob Baird, chief creative officer at Preacher. “We’re approaching that deep scientific question in a literal, and wholly appropriate, manner. The Container Store can literally create space for you. We wanted to tell a fresh, own-able design story. In pondering ‘Where Space Comes From,’ we found ideas that speak to the notion of space we may not yet see. To allow the viewer to marvel and rethink the way their eyes see space. In some cases almost illusion.”

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by Patty Odell

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