The Office may have left Netflix, but fan favorite Phyllis Vance is back in a spring-themed spot for arts and crafts supplier, Joann.
The commercial follows the story of a couple who had to cancel their wedding plans due to the pandemic, resigning themselves instead to a simple courthouse wedding. Phyllis, true to character, tells the camera in a confessional setting reminiscent of The Office, that she thought they said “outhouse wedding”. As such, she becomes determined to design their wedding herself, enlisting the help of Joann and DIY design expert Rebecca Propes to put together a floral fete complete with a paper flower bouquet tutorial and no shortage of cringeworthy moments for viewers to enjoy. True fans may even connect the commercial with Phyllis’s famous copycat wedding on The Office. The video is running on all of Joann’s social channels, Hulu, and Discovery, with plans to partner with Phyllis for more seasonal spots in the future.
Once thought of as ultra-traditional and even a bit dated, Joann has become a DIY digital masterpiece in the world of marketing. In addition to soaring sales and a boosted customer base, the store touts top-of-the-line presences on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and even its own subscription-based service. Since specialty retail video content has seen an uptick during the pandemic according to Gartner’s report on the industry, committing to a series of story-based video ads is a smooth move on the company’s part. Though it’s not the first time a brand has tapped into The Office characters—Bush’s Beans brought in Briam Baumgartner, also known as “Kevin” on the show, to reimagine his famous spilled chili scene last month, looping in a beloved and familiar character like frumpy, yet loveable Phyllis Vance also fits into the nostalgia trend and feels particularly authentic to Joann, while still cruising the arts and craft boom.
Joann’s new ad also serves as a reminder to brands and consumers alike that spring is a time for new beginnings and a potentially post-pandemic world. Joann could have easily tempted viewers with more at-home activities to pass the time. Instead, it gave them hope of a reimagined life where slowly but surely, they can pick up the pieces and start again.