Supermarket chain, No Frills, and its agency, john st. have been taking the blah out of grocery shopping (and making No Frills the coolest supermarket chain ever), first with a wild and wacky music video, then with the grocery shopping video game no one asked for.
Then with the pair’s maddest idea yet – the grocery gaming controller no one asked for either.
To promote the game, No Frills Aisles of Glory: Legends of the Haul, john st. partnered with wonderMakr to make a video game controller from real bananas, the brand’s iconic symbol of fresh for less.
Watch the unboxing video on TikTok.
“We’ve made some legendary changes to the game itself, so we needed a legendary way to play it. And as a brand that lives in the cultural zeitgeist, why not launch this year’s Aisles of Glory expansion in a way that stays true to gaming with a controller all our own,” explained Jess Willis, creative director at john st.
The limited-edition Frill Blaster Pro uses capacitive touch technology to transform ordinary bananas into controller buttons. Tapping a banana moves your character.
The Frill Blaster Pro was released to select gaming influencers on TikTok and Twitch. The packaging pays homage to the 8-bit retro-style of the game, so much so, “you could swear it just came off a shelf at your local RadioShack in 1982,” Willis added. Inside are three bananas, stickers for labeling the buttons, a set-up manual complete with banana configuration ideas, and even controller disposal directions – a killer banana bread recipe.
“From Haulin’ State of Mind, the #1 discount album, co-created with some of Canada’s best artists to Haulerverse, which saw us pay homage to the world of anime, being authentic to the spaces we’re playing in is important. It’s what gives us that Hauler swagger,” stated Randi Casey, director of marketing, Loblaw Companies Limited.
john st.: Supermarket chain, No Frills, goes Bananas, So Fresh & Spicy (they’re song titles in its music album)
While not everyone will have the opportunity to play Aisles of Glory: Legends of the Haul with the Frill Blaster Pro, the game runs until September 16. This year’s updates include a grand prize of 10 million PC Optimum points, 24 secondary prizes of 1 million PC Optimum points, aisle-themed levels, and brand-new character modes that can be unlocked via No Frills receipt codes. And if that wasn’t reason enough to play, the top scorer will be immortalised as an 8-bit character in next year’s game.
Client: Loblaw Companies Limited (No Frills)
SVP Marketing: Meghan Nameth
VP Marketing: Andy MacPherson
Director, Marketing: Randi Casey
Senior Brand Manager: Scott Lyons
Director, External Communications: Aly Vitunski
Senior Manager, Creative, Content: Kara Smith
PR Specialist: Jessica Gauci
Agency: john st.
Chief Creative Officer: Cher Campbell
Creative Director: Jess Willis
Associate Creative Directors: Alex Manahan & George Lin
Copywriter: Emma Lorenzi
Art Director: Brian Zheng
Designer: Carol Hung
Executive Producer: Matthew DeWaal
Producers: Danielle Lloyd & Alexandra Ungureanu
Client Service Director: Allison Ballantyne
Business Lead: Christy Cusack
Account Supervisors: Ariel Segal & Kelly Brennan
Chief Strategy Officer: Megan Towers
Strategy Director: Colin Carroll
Banana Controller Fabrication: wonderMakr
Producer: Rasheed Hussain
Creative Technologist: Garrett Reynolds
President & Chief Innovation Officer: Mark Stewart
Game Production: Relish Interactive
Creative Directors: Justin Sadler & Ram Kanda
Art Director: Alyssa Munaretto
Designer: Treawna Harvey
Illustrators: Jesse Millest, Jimena Castillo & Anthony Chavaria
Development Leads: Derek Martin & Rick Mason
Developers: Cody Chartrand & Aaron Bernstein
Testing: Matt Fleming
Producers: Phil Leuenberger, Pebble Lee & Joshua Doherty