No Frills anime-style ad takes Twitter by storm

No Frill Anime Ad (Twitter)
No Frill Anime Ad (Twitter)

No Frills has taken the internet by storm after one of their advertisements featured in a tweet went viral. The Canadian supermarket chain, owned by Loblaw, has been trending on Twitter since Sunday after a user brought attention to the anime-style commercial by stating: “What the f*** is this ad for a goddamn grocery store.”

The chain’s recent campaign, Haulerverse, takes a spin on a comic-book universe that features shoppers (also known as haulers,) and workers at No Frills who are helping customers in store.

The audience will follow the main Hauler crew members, Meg, Nia, Jeff and Hank in an action-packed series on “fighting frills and getting deals along the way.”

The Haulerverse campaign aims to celebrate everyday shoppers and their goals to get more for less.

“It’s no secret that the pandemic has changed the way customers shop, especially for groceries, and we wanted our haulers to feel that No Frills swagger,” said a representative from Loblaw Public Relations.

“We knew we needed a campaign that was both aspirational and unifying, but also stayed true to the brand – we need to celebrate our ‘Haulers’ and what’s more aspirational than tapping into the bravado of comic superheroes?”

The intention of the ad is for customers to see themselves in the characters— from tech-savvy millennials, to the older generation who has been grocery shopping for years.

“Issue one” (in keeping with the comic book theme) describes Haulerverse as a place where shoppers can be frugal. The No Frills weekly flyer will feature a new story every week.

The campaign includes weekly offers, a Spotify playlist, Instagram filters, stickers, and GIFs.

The ad came as a surprise to most people as it’s a unique approach for a grocery store chain, but the public relations team says people have been responding well to the ad and campaign, which launched about two months ago.

“No Frills always takes an unusual approach for a grocery retailer – and it’s paying off,” said a representative for Loblaw. “We’ve been able to create a world that people want to talk about, or be a part of which is incredibly exciting.”

Here’s how more Twitter users reacted to the ad: