The Assignment:

Create a one-of-a-kind retail experience for first-in-class outdoor gear outfitters Canada Goose.

The Strategy:

Transport visitors into the heart of nature through an immersive experiential journey inside the elements.


Overview

For their new retail space at CF Sherway Gardens in Toronto, Canada Goose wanted to do things a little differently. Instead of building a traditional store, what if they used the space to give visitors an immersive brand experience? After an initial research and strategy phase, our kyu Collective partners IDEO reached out to Digital Kitchen to help conceptualize, design, and produce the narrative journey and content that turned the store from an interesting experiment into a must-experience event.

As ACD, I was heavily involved in the project from development to implementation, helping to conceive and write every moment of the user journey, including short film scripts, display copy, signage, and a 360° launch campaign. I got to interview the world’s most winningest Iditarod champion and even developed the dialogue salespeople (a/k/a “Journey Tellers”) use to lead visitors through the space. The result: a groundbreaking brand experience that made the entire retail industry sit up and take notice.

Development

Canada Goose knew they were taking a huge chance building a retail store without the “retail” part. The experience had to do much more than move merchandise: it had to develop a longterm connection between visitors and the brand.

We started by diving deep into the brand so we could understand the audience. Canada Goose buyers are an interesting mix of hardcore outdoor adventurers, cold weather workers, and fashion obsessives who want the highest quality money can buy. What unites them is a love of being outdoors and the need to be prepared for whatever the weather dishes out.

With this in mind, we developed an experience that brings the outdoors, indoors.

The Experience

Upon entering, visitors step into a narrow mountain pass. A LIDAR-powered floor reacts to their footsteps, creating the sensation of cracking ice with every step. From here, they enter into The Elements room, where floor to ceiling projections and immersive soundscapes put them inside original nature footage shot by Digital Kitchen on location in British Columbia. Against the back wall, a display of jackets reveal product details through touch-based sensors.

The centerpiece of the experience is the Cold Room, a -12°C environment where users can test out Canada Goose’s famously warm coats in real world conditions. When the lights go down, visitors are taken into unknown worlds through two original widescreen short films featuring the vocal talent of Iditarod legend Lance Mackey and artist and activist Sarain Fox.


Sarain Fox — Storm Fishing
Lance Mackey - The Speed of Nature

Press Reaction

S/ Magazine

"Allowing only six people in at once, the immersive experience is a must try."

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Refinery29

"While experiential retail concepts are nothing new — the pop-up store being the most ubiquitous of examples — here, Canada Goose has produced something that’s as creative as it is risky."

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Style Democracy

"This fully immersive retail experience is one that needs to be seen in order to believed."

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