Rudolph available on aisle 10?

Not really. But with the flashing-red-nose billboards that went up last week across the country, Canadian Tire is definitely raising the bar when it comes to leveraging the recognition value of branded signage.

Rudolph the celebrity reindeer began appearing on Canadian Tire billboards last week in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto, in a dozen key locales in each city. But rather than including a holiday greeting, the boards instead duplicate the retailer’s by-now-familiar indoor signage design, referencing the lighting department and implying – if only subliminally – that the four-legged fave’s flashing red snout may be purchased on aisle 10.

Toronto-based Sara Heller, Canadian Tire’s associate manager of strategy & advertising, tells MiC that the Rudolph billboards will be supported by three similar TV spots until early December, when a new image campaign focusing on holiday gift giving will succeed it. Toronto’s MBS did the media buys.