Working from home and DIY projects are two trends that experts expect to outlast COVID-19. Joann, the fabric and craft store, is tapping into both with its holiday campaign, which stars Phyllis Smith, the often bumbling yet sometimes feisty character on "The Office." In “Working from Home with Phyllis,” a series of four-minute webisodes, Smith crafts holiday presents while a Phyllis cardboard cutout fills in for her on Zoom work calls.
In one episode, a supervisor who is oblivious to the cutout says, “Phyllis, I think you’re frozen again,” as Smith attempts to crochet a turtleneck sweater for her neighbor’s cat. The three-part series—which has Smith also pursuing wreath-making and baking cookies—includes special guest appearances from craft experts Vincent Green-Hite, Britney Brown-Chamberlain and Charlotte Martin Smith. Its documentary-style is similar to that of the hit sitcom that propelled Smith to stardom.
Hudson, Ohio-based Joann worked with Where Eagles Dare on the new campaign, which will run on Joann’s social channels and in shortened versions on national and connected TV. In December, the retailer plans to host a giveaway sweepstakes for customers featuring some of Smith’s favorite items.
This is not Smith’s first time headlining a brand campaign. Earlier this year, she starred as Panera’s fictitious social media coordinator.
Consumers are hungry for crafting this holiday season. Etsy, the online craft marketplace, just reported skyrocketing sales; the brand is continuing the momentum with an ambitious holiday ad campaign. According to a spokeswoman, Joann, an 865-store chain, has also seen a recent surge in popularity with a DIY mask campaign that lured new customers. To handle an upswing in demand, Joann has upgraded its e-commerce system.
On Monday, Joann announced it has streamlined its order-ahead, pickup in store program as well as curbside capabilities. The retailer is partnering with Radius Networks, a location-based tech company, on such services.