Our client Carlton INC is the traders association for Carlton VIC 3053. The association works directly for the traders in the Carlton community and partners alongside the City of Melbourne to showcase and support all the great aspects of Carlton, including food and drink, shopping, business services and entertainment.

After a difficult 2020/21 for traders in the area (majority of who are retail, cafes and restaurants) Carlton INC reached out to us to create and develop a marketing campaign to help get traders back working to pre-pandemic levels, attract foot traffic to the area quickly and incentivise these people to spend more in store.

Most important to Carlton INC, was that this campaign, would need to demonstrate to their member base that the organisation cared and understood about the effect that the Victorian lockdowns had on the retailers bottom line and that they were actively taking part in supporting and restoring the trade in the area.

The product would need to integrate well with the demographic and culture of Carlton, which is made up of beautiful parklands, cafes, restaurants and filled with lovers of fine food and wine. Uni students are one of the key target consumers here, they place a large emphasis on current environmental and global warming issues. Therefore, if the product was of a eco-friendly nature it would be highly regarded by the Carlton INC board members.

Lastly, the Carlton INC member base is made up of high-end retailers and restaurants so a retail quality item with a high perceived value was going to be paramount.


After meeting with the client and showcasing many potential options, we developed a perfectly suitable marketing campaign that would meet the above criteria. The clear winner would be a consumer gift with purchase program that retailers could execute in-store to incentivise customers and encourage a higher value spend in the pathway out of the Covid-19 recession.

Enter the Carlton INC Heavy Canvas Market Tote. The market tote idea was developed as a response to the retailers in the area going in and out of lockdowns due to Covid-19, without much warning, which saw majority of them selling their produce like an Italian style grocery store. The market tote would therefore be perfectly suited and complementary to what people were purchasing in-store and be in line with the customers interests.

The item itself was made from a 16oz heavy cotton canvas and was substantial in size (65cm L x 49cm H x 18cm). The size and material gave it the high perceived value the Carlton INC board members voted for making this the ultimate market or picnic bag, with room for pantry essentials. Similar options to this bag sell for $59.95+ in retail settings. The interior of the bag was also thought out and completely customised. It featured a wine sleeve, coin/phone purse and even a section for a sourdough bread loaf. These interior features directly complimented the Carlton cultural dynamics of fine food and wine. Giving these special details inside the bag made it a well thought out piece that would be truly something the consumers would want and be willing to spend more in-store to receive.

Running this heavy canvas tote in a consumer gift with purchase program would allow local retailers to execute an instore activation themselves, that would directly incentivise higher spends, put money directly in the tills of Carlton INC's members (the local retailers) and reinforced the message that the organisation actively supports its members.

It would also work to the local traders favour, where it would serve as a gesture from the trader to their customer as a thank you for their patronage and to further incentivise them to revisit in future.

Being a re-usable cotton canvas meant this item was also eco-friendly, which would in turn reduce waste amongst the community. We appointed Promocollection to help source the bag and complete the production and shipping into Melbourne. The design printed on the bag was selected from elements of Carlton INC’s new brand look and feel, featuring a fun and happy character looking at a menu at a small restaurant table.

We deliberated together with the client and set the value of the minimum in-store spend amount to $100 to receive the bag. This meant 1000 units x $100 in-store spends would directly attribute to at least $100,000 spend into the Lygon St retailers. We also set a limited time/number of items to increase consumer interest and build the FOMO effect!

Backed and promoted by a complete marketing strategy developed by us in conjunction with the client, the campaign was deployed to existing members and social media channels. Furthermore, we also developed point-of-sale counter cards which educated and attracted consumer attention to the campaign. (see attached photos)

The heavy canvas totes along with point-of-sale strut cards were delivered to the local retailers using our local courier, and included well known Brunettis Cafe, DOC Espresso and Parco for the campaigns launch and successful execution. This campaign worked seamlessly, incentivising customers, pleasing the traders, boosting the area and making our client look like the heroes.

"This idea of a gift with every purchase made, gave our members the opportunity to giveaway something that would incentivise consumers to spend, market our brand effectively and be a beautiful token to the many different walks of life that attend Lygon st and surrounding streets. " 

-  Executive Officer, Carlton INC


All 1000 units had been taken up. That meant $100 in-store spends x 1000 canvas totes attributed to at least $100,000 spend in the local area.

The successful development of this campaign saw Carlton INC partner with us to deploy other gift with purchase initiatives into the area. This includes Carlton Picnic rugs and Cord Caps injecting an additional $70,000 into the local area.

The consumers that received the tote bags also posted dozens of images on social media including Facebook and Instagram which gave further exposure to the Carlton area which extended beyond just the retailers and customers in store.

The client was also impressed with the smooth execution of the campaign and our commitment to ensuring this project a success in under 14 weeks. He called to let us know that retailers had been pushing him for more bags! 

Furthermore, retailers took the time to approach Carlton INC board members to comment on the quality of the gift and how well the overall campaign was organised and executed.

Lastly, our local TNT driver mentioned that he had spotted the bags in the local community during his daily run. Our team have also seen the canvas totes in unusual places with one making an appearance at the beach on the Mornington Peninsula.

"The bags have been of very high quality with superb details inside, including contrast piping and a dedicated area for wine and bread. What a brilliant marketing campaign and attests to the greatness of this ongoing partnership. " - Executive Office, Carlton INC



18/135 Cardigan Street

Carlton, VIC 3053 Australia

P: 03 9937 2121


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