Wilsons Home Heating : Spread the Warmth

People don’t really distinguish between one home heating company and the next. Oil is oil is oil. It’s something you have to buy, not something you want to buy. As long as it’s delivered on time, everyone’s happy, right? Wrong. Well, it’s actually more or less right, but that needed to change.

The Goal:

Position Wilson’s as a community leader by spreading the warmth in the HRM.

Key Insight:

To really and truly understand what it means to make the world a warmer place we needed to step away from oil, fuel and business altogether. At its core, what is warmth? The answer, it turns out, was right in front of us (and in all of us). Warmth is one on one time spent with a dear friend. Warmth is a big bear hug. Warmth is human. Our mandate became clear – we needed to help warm up the people of Halifax.

This was a big campaign with a lot of moving parts. These parts weren’t mutually exclusive; success hinged on them weaving together precisely. Our upfront strategy and planning was put to the test. Next came creative development. We shared posters with free space blankets, yarn letters were built (yes, alphanumeric letters literally made of yarn) and were used as the campaign’s primary imagery (including all billboards), radio spots hit the air-waves, t-shirts and hand-warmers were printed, Facebook and Twitter posts were shared and emails were sent. So how was the  Spread the Warmth campaign unveiled? Mysteriously, of course.

Yarn-bombed locations began sprouting up around the HRM. Nothing says warmth quite like yarn. Visions of your grandmother’s living room, the warmest, coziest, safest environment on planet earth, are impossible to ignore. The word got out and buzz began to build.  On December 1st, better known as Giving Tuesday, Wilsons would be donating to three local charities: The IWK Health Centre, Phoenix Youth, and the United Way Halifax. Donations were submitted in a rather unconventional way – with a hug.

People hugged by the thousands (sometimes, more than once). So we figured, hey, if you’re willing to spread the warmth, it’s only right that you should receive some warmth in return. Free hand-warmers were given out and huggers had the choice to enter a contest, the grand prize – a free month of home heating.

The Results:

The temperature in Halifax on December 1st was unseasonably high. People were hugging like crazy and warmth was spreading like wildfire. At the end of the day $11,000 was donated to charity, the campaign reached almost 50,000 people and Wilsons enjoyed an almost 900% spike in engagement on Facebook.


The temperature in Halifax on December 1st was unseasonably high. People were hugging like crazy and warmth was spreading like wildfire



Donated ($)


Facebook Engagement Increase


People Reached