ING DIRECT Canada strives to help Canadians live better lives by changing the way they approach money. Encouraging people to "stop banking in the past," ING DIRECT Canada is focused on providing great Saving, Chequing, Mortgage and Mutual Fund products. To create awareness and consideration of its brand, ING DIRECT Canada partnered with indie band, Walk Off The Earth to launch a contest, challenging all Canadians to share the most creative ways they save their money.


  • Engage current and potential customers
  • Build awareness of brand and savings account products
  • Create positive brand experience through digital channels


  • Partnered with Walk Off the Earth for YouTube video contest
  • Ran YouTube homepage masthead with custom music video cover of Madonna’s “Material Girl” by Walk Off the Earth to reach content producers, voters
  • Used YouTube mobile roadblocks to reach growing mobile audiences
  • Repurposed creative, extended reach with YouTube Masthead in Lightbox Ads
  • Used remarketing, topic targeting to reach a relevant audience


  • In 4 weeks: 7M impressions, 1,800+ clicks
  • 166,000+ engagements at no extra cost due to CPE pricing
  • More clicks and engagements, lower CPE during campaign’s second month
  • CPE pricing means only paying for interactions from qualified users
  • 7.4M impressions, 85,000 clicks from 2 YouTube mobile roadblocks
September 2013

A prime example of how ING DIRECT Canada uses digital channels to create a unique brand experience for customers is its “Canadian Superstar Saver Search” YouTube video contest. In May 2013, the bank partnered with Canadian indie band Walk Off the Earth to launch a contest challenging Canadians to share the most creative ways in which they save money. The goals of this campaign were engagement and awareness of both the ING DIRECT brand and its savings account offerings. The group approached its two-month campaign in two phases: Reaching content producers, then voters.

Creating brand exposure at extensive scale with YouTube homepage masthead and mobile roadblocks

To reach content producers across Canada during the first phase of the campaign, ING DIRECT Canada ran a YouTube homepage masthead to promote the contest and partnership with Walk Off the Earth, including a custom music video cover of Madonna’s “Material Girl.” The masthead is a 970x250 in-page creative that runs the full width of the YouTube homepage below the navigation bar for 24 hours, offering high-impact brand exposure to 9.5 million viewers on average. Parallel to its YouTube homepage masthead, ING DIRECT ran a mobile roadblock to gain 100% share of voice on all home, browse and search pages on Using this mobile roadblock on two occasions helped ING DIRECT capture traffic and attention from an increasingly large mobile audience: In total, the roadblocks generated more than 7.4 million impressions and nearly 85,000 clicks.

Engaging users across the web with Lightbox Ads

To extend the YouTube homepage masthead’s effects for greater brand awareness, the group used Lightbox Ads: a type of new, interactive Engagement Ad format that lets advertisers create and scale beautiful brand messages across the web. Lightbox Ads begin as standard IAB-sized units and expand into full-screen creative canvases once a user hovers over the ad for two seconds. One great feature of Lightbox Ads is that advertisers can repurpose YouTube homepage masthead creative as the expanded unit. This enables users to watch the YouTube homepage masthead video and interact with the ING DIRECT brand without clicking or leaving their current page. “The beautiful thing is that it allows us to deliver the same experience from YouTube right within the ad unit itself,” says Mark. “The ability for users to engage with the content right there, without having to click or leave the page they’re on, is paramount.”

Efficiently extending the impact of existing creative

Because Lightbox Ads offer the possibility to repurpose YouTube homepage masthead creative, ING DIRECT Canada was able to easily multiply the impact of its campaign with no additional creative development costs. “Combining the YouTube homepage masthead with Lightbox Ads allowed us to execute very quickly and simply for a more engaging ad,” says Mark. “We were able to extend our masthead message throughout the market, and our ad’s video views count toward our total YouTube views.”

Reaching a qualified audience with remarketing, topic targeting

To reach a wide yet relevant audience, ING DIRECT Canada remarketed its Lightbox Ads to users who had previously seen the YouTube homepage masthead. The group also used topic targeting to show ads on pages across Google Display featuring content related to Arts & Entertainment, Home Improvement, How-To, DIY, Expert Content, Finance and Travel. Additionally, it targeted Walk Off the Earth’s YouTube channel subscribers to reach the people most interested in the band to fully leverage the contest partnership.

After the first four weeks of reaching content producers, ING DIRECT Canada’s campaign shifted into the second phase to reach voters for the video submissions. The group continued to remarket off the YouTube homepage masthead, and also optimized its topic targeting categories to include News and Social Networks to encourage more direct response.

Lightbox Ads campaign deeply engages users at scale

Over the first month, ING DIRECT Canada’s campaign combining the YouTube homepage masthead and YouTube Masthead in Lightbox Ads received 7 million impressions, more than 1,800 clicks and over 166,000 engagements. During the campaign’s second month, it generated a lower cost-per-engagement (CPE) and a higher level of clicks and engagements, likely due to Google’s adaptive algorithm, which increases engagement rates by showing ads to users who are more likely to interact. “We noticed that voting scaled toward the end of the campaign, most likely because our ad was engaging more users over time,” notes Mark.

Since all Engagement Ads are priced on a CPE basis, ING DIRECT Canada only paid when qualified users engaged with its Lightbox Ads (hovering over the ad for two seconds to activate the full-screen experience). This helped the group scale its marketing dollars more efficiently, and also meant the campaign’s 7 million impressions came at no additional cost. “The CPE pricing allowed us to drive more relevant traffic from qualified users – people who would want to vote or actively engage more with our brand,” says Mark. Going forward, ING DIRECT Canada hopes to continue the conversations initiated by this campaign. Mark adds, “Our focal point is engaging people in new, strategic ways across channels.”

Reaching customers through digital channels and providing a memorable brand experience online is imperative for us.