Persuasion Notebook offers quick hits on the business of persuasion from The Globe and Mail’s marketing and advertising reporter, Susan Krashinsky. Read more on The Globe’s marketing page and follow Susan on Twitter @Susinsky.
Before he made nerds everywhere rejoice this week with a cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” in a video filmed in space, and before he had more than 800,000 followers on Twitter, Chris Hadfield was a regular astronaut buried in paperwork, who would rather be standing in the sporting goods aisle.
On his YouTube account, where the warbling real-life Major Tom (minus the disaster) posted his music video on Sunday, there is also an extravagant gift of free marketing for one Canadian company.
In January, he posted his performance of a song all about Canadian Tire, which he calls “the last refuge of men.” According to his brother’s website, he wrote the tune more than 20 years ago after an exchange posting with the U.S. Navy took him to the States.
And though some of the lyrics sound a little outdated (women drinking beer? What has become of the world?), the prideful ditty plays right into Canadian Tire’s marketing strategy of capitalizing on Canadian pride.
Ironically, the image of Canadian Tire as a bastion of masculinity that the song presents is also at odds with the retailer’s other marketing efforts in recent years: to appeal to more female consumers.
Still, it’s a dream endorsement from the most celebrated Canadian of the moment, from a time when he was much less famous.
The lyrics are so glowing it seems as though Mr. Hadfield may just deserve a royalty. In the video, he sings that “if the store should go broke I’d be better off dead. So quick grab your wallets, and be the next buyer, support your Canadian Tire.”
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