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Canadian Tire Mastercraft

Master Every Fix

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Insights & Ideas

For more than 75 years, Canadian Tire’s Mastercraft Tools have been making products Canadian’s can rely on for all their DIY projects. However, a recent Nielsen Brand Lift study showed that there was room to grow for Canada’s top selling tool brand. To position Mastercraft as a brand Canadian’s can always count on to help master their fix, with over 1,600 tools and accessories. Canadian Tire needed a media strategy that could offer the same great performance as their tools.

Advertising's biggest challenge is understanding whether or not someone's paid attention to your message. 90% of marketers believe attention metrics will soon augment legacy metrics (Source: The Attention Council). These metrics provide insight into what happens between impression and click to determine what creative, targeting, or media is driving attention. The study’s retail campaign meta-analysis revealed brand awareness and consideration lifted between 21–30% when optimized towards attention over viewability, with up to 4 times higher brand recall (Source: The Attention Council). In addition high attention drove up to 89% more conversions than low attention media. With access to Attention Metrics, Canadian Tire’s Mastercraft could focus on increasing affinity and reversing negative quality perception with a consideration campaign.

Media Execution

The programmatic campaign targeted inventory pools with large male audiences (21-54) that also included contextually relevant home improvement properties. Audience segments included Google in-market categories: Home & Garden, Home Improvement, and Do-It-Yourselfers. This also included 3rd party audiences, such as: frequent hardware and home improvement store visitors, home improvement enthusiasts, and tool buyers.

The campaign used programmatic interactive creative. Upon user initiation, the ads loaded additional content to reveal high-impact features and offered their audience multiple ways to interact. The 3 tab ads featured video, a shoppable product carousel, a tool category tab, and store locator, helping collect more attention data than standard display.

This data used over 12 metrics to model and better understand the attention journey from exposure, to interest, to engagement, to action. Allowing Canadian Tire’s Mastercraft to optimize towards high attention media and targeting. Multivariate testing between lifestyle and product photography provided on-the-fly optimizations towards the best performing creative. While Nielsen’s Digital Brand Effect (DBE) Study ensured the focus on attention was correlating with favorability outcomes and reducing negative sentiment. Nielsen provides real-time brand data to ensure a campaign is achieving its brand goals while the campaign is happening, instead of being used to assess the success of the campaign after the flight.


The campaign was optimized to both Nielsen DBE data and Attention data. A new model was created to measure and optimize towards attention data - dividing the journey of the ad creative into 4 interconnected phases: exposure, interest, engagement, and action.

In the exposure phase the viewer takes note of an ad upon initial exposure. It impacts the greater number of people and achieves awareness at scale. If the content is interesting to the viewer, they will spend more time with the ad to understand the offering and how it relates to them. If the content addresses the viewer’s needs or sparks an emotional connection, it will inspire them to spend more time and actively engage with the brand, potentially taking Action and visiting the brand’s site via the ad or search later on.

Mapping attention metrics such as dwell rate and time in-view to these phases allowed us to better optimize the campaign to the desired brand outcomes than using clickthrough rate. In particular using these metrics proved to be very impactful at increasing brand favorability and decreasing negative brand sentiment.


Attention metrics were a powerful tool to increase consideration and position Canadian Tire’s Mastercraft as a category leader. The campaign drove an engagement rate 13% higher than previous campaigns, increasing their engaged clickthrough rate by 147%.

The real advantage was in improving the brand metrics, which improved dramatically from the previous campaign’s DBE study. There was a 33% decrease in negative brand sentiment when compared to the control group, which saw a 42% improvement over the last campaign. The campaign beat Nielsen’s brand favorability benchmark by 50% and improved over the previous campaign by 150%. The lifestyle creatives performed even better at 93% higher than the Nielsen benchmark. Mastercraft showed that activating on attention is a strategy that brands need to add to their tool box.

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