Canadian Discount Grocer No Frills Has Created an 8-Bit Video Game

Players can earn loyalty points to use in store

Video game players can earn up to 500 points a day to use in real life.
Headshot of Minda Smiley

If you ever find yourself bored enough to play a video game created by a grocery store chain, look no further: No Frills has you covered.

The Canadian chain of discount supermarkets has launched an 8-bit video game with help from Toronto agency John St., where players can scoop up deals while avoiding “frills” such as diamonds, limos and champagne.

It’s the video game no one asked for, but No Frills shoppers who play can at least rack up loyalty points—up to 500 per day—to use in real life. The brand has also created a physical arcade unit that will be traveling around Canada in the near future.

The game is part of an ongoing campaign for the chain called “Haulers,” a term the brand coined last year for its band of cost-saving shoppers. Fans of the brand can find “Haulers” merch on its online shop.

In addition to the video game, No Frills is airing a spot—called “Haul or Nothing”—that fashions its shoppers as athletes preparing for the game of their life, putting themselves through grueling workouts and training schedules before heading in-store for an “epic haul.”

According to the agency, the ad “pays respect to shoppers in a series of stylized vignettes that elevates them to the status of athletic heroes” in an effort to showcase their dedication and cost-saving achievements.

“We only really have one guiding principle, and that’s don’t follow any of the rules when it comes to how a grocery store should behave,” Cher Campbell, executive creative director at John St., said in a statement. “Haulers are a tribe now, and they have a keen sense of what is authentically No Frills, of what that ‘swagger-y’ personality is, and as long we keep rejecting traditional ways of speaking to our consumers, they’ll keep hauling.”


SVP, Marketing: Uwe Stueckmann
VP, Marketing: Mary MacIsaac
Director, Brand Marketing: Ashley McGill
Senior Brand Manager: David Becker
Brand Manager: Naveet Nanwa
Brand Specialist: Teresa Tornatore

Agency: John St.
Chief Creative Officer: Angus Tucker
Executive Creative Director: Cher Campbell
Copywriter: Robbie Percy
Art Director: Caroline Friesen
Executive Director, Design: Mooren Bofill
Design Director: Jacqueline Lane
Designer: Ming Mikaeo
Head of Production: Aimee DeParolis
Executive Producer (TV): Brittani Wilcox
Executive Producer (Game): Matthew DeWaal
Producer (Game): Summer Mitterhuber
Director of Creative Technology: Joshua Richards
Account Service: Nick Pigott, Lindsay Day, Kelly Brennan
Strategy: Megan Towers, Mario Ramirez Reyes

Director: Ian Schwartz
Production Company: Radke Films
Executive Producers: Scott Mackenzie, Tony DiMarco
Line Producer: Rob Jacklin
Director of Photography: Albert Salas
Casting: Powerhouse
Editorial (Editor, Company): Graham Chisholm, Married to Giants
Colour (Colourist, Company): Clinton Homuth, Artjail
VFX / Online (Lead VFX Artist, Company): Sean Cochrane, The Vanity
Audio (Creative Director, Company): Didier Tovel, SNDWRx

Game Creative + Development: Relish Interactive
Producer: Colin Marson
Associate Producer: Phil Leuenberger
Creative Director: Justin Sadler
Game Design: Aaron Worrall
Art Director: Alyssa Munaretto
Illustration & Animation: Jesse Millest
Game Developers: Rocco Briganti, Cody Chartrand
Web Developer: David Blonski
Dev Ops Lead: Rick Mason
Lead Tester: Damien Rochon

Arcade Unit Fabrication: wonderMakr
President & Chief Innovation Officer: Mark Stewart
Chief Creative Technologist: Garrett Reynolds
Manager, Creative Technology: Jonathan Warren
Jr. Creative Technologist: Alec Mulder
Director, Digital Development: Chris Fairhurst
Technical Producer: Al Macrae
Senior Producer: Rasheed Hussain

Game Music: SNDWRx Ltd
Music Creative Director: Didier Tovel
Executive Producer: Alison Lawee
Engineer: Stephen Cullen

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@Minda_Smiley Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.
Publish date: May 13, 2019 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT