- 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 depicts Smith trying to balance her love of crafting with working from home, per details emailed to Marketing Dive.
- Episodes also feature crafting influencers Vincent Green-Hite, Britney Brown-Chamberlin and Charlotte Smith and will air every two weeks beginning on Nov. 9 on Joann.com and YouTube. The crafts retailer will also run trailers on national cable and streaming networks, including Hallmark, Food Network, Discovery and Hulu.
- Joann's holiday push taps into — and spoofs — pandemic-spurred behaviors like working from home and crafting, while piggybacking on the continued popularity of "The Office." After the series airs, Joann will host a sweepstakes that will include prizes featuring some of the items from the series.
Joann's holiday campaign finds levity by spoofing pandemic-spurred behaviors like working from home and crafting, with the help of a familiar face from "The Office." Connecting with consumers at home will be important for marketers during this holiday season as families hunker down during the cold winter months amid the pandemic. Offering consumers activities, crafts and video content will be one way for families to keep up the holiday spirit.
"With so many looking for ways to manage through a very tough year, we wanted to bring some levity as well as encouragement for people to try something new," Richard Vollmer, Joann's chief creative officer, said in a statement.
The holiday web series, created with agency Where Eagles Dare, takes a familiar "Office"-like approach, including an instrumental theme song and familiar shots of an alarm clock and coffee pot, to convey its message. Yet, it addresses today's work-from-home reality. In the first episode, for instance, Smith uses a lifesize cutout of herself to free-up crafting time during long Zoom calls. Future episodes include a virtual holiday cookie exchange and a neighborhood wreath contest, as well as real-life crafting influencers who portray neighbors lending a hand when the creations go awry.
Despite having gone off the air in 2013, the show's popularity remains strong among audiences and marketers. 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 all over the floor.
Despite being created for broadcast, "The Office" has proved surprisingly popular in the streaming era. The misadventures of the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch of Dunder-Mifflin Paper Co. accounted for nearly 3% of Netflix's total U.S.viewing in 2018, higher than "Friends," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Parks and Recreation," according to The Wall Street Journal. As Comcast geared up to launch its Peacock streaming service, NBCUniversal paid an estimated $500 million to reclaim the show's streaming rights. The show has also proven surprisingly popular with Gen Z, which marketers could be looking to reach with these campaigns.
Joann previously responded to consumers' needs during the pandemic with its "Make to Give" campaign, which gave viewers patterns and tips to make their own masks. The effort provided an estimated 300 million masks to Americans through store and corporate donations, as well as customer mask-making purchases.