When Canada's largest online bank rebranded from ING Direct to Tangerine, its introduction strategy was as innovative as it was successful. A pioneering, contextual advertising campaign was launched on YouTube and not only delighted users with over 8 million impressions, but had positive impact on brand recall, brand awareness and contributed to recognition as "Canada's Most Digital Bank." It started with a Google Brandworks session that brought together the insights, client, agency, and brought home accolades.

Goals

  • Increase brand awareness and affinity
  • Attract new accounts
  • Retain existing ING DIRECT customers while the bank transitioned to Tangerine

Approach

  • Developed 13 15-second YouTube-specific pre-roll videos (five in both French and English)
  • Identified the keywords most commonly searched by Canadians in five categories
  • Served the pre-roll ads in context with user search, each embedding the key benefits of banking with Tangerine

Results

  • Found that 18% of people watched the ad right to the end
  • Total impressions exceeded 8,350,000 nationwide
  • Tangerine's brand recall increased 26% and brand awareness by 6.5%
Published
August 2014
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Tangerine's contextual advertising win

For its nationwide rebranding campaign this past spring, Tangerine Bank became the first major advertiser in Canada to use contextual advertising on YouTube, Google's video community where more than 1 billion people come each month to learn, discover, share and find entertainment. The results? Beyond expectation.

If you searched YouTube in Canada between March and May of this year looking for automotive repair tips or travel advice or pet supplies, there's a good chance the first thing you'd see was a friendly guy holding an orange coffee mug. He said he liked cars or travel or pets, too, then segued into no-fee banking and better interest paid on deposits with Tangerine. He was a pre-recorded advertising personality working for Tangerine Bank and he knew what you were looking for.

Welcome to contextual advertising.

Tangerine, owned by Scotiabank, is Canada's largest direct bank, and the "most digital bank in Canada," according to 2014 Ipsos research. Tangerine is also the first advertiser in Canada to tap the powers of contextual video. Long known as ING DIRECT, the bank was acquired by Scotiabank in late 2012 and rebranded in early 2014.

Tangerine gave its creative partners a mere seven weeks to develop and execute an online campaign. "You could call that a tension point," says Mark Nicholson, Tangerine's managing director of customer experience. The communication objective of the campaign was to announce to people across Canada that "simple, safe, secure and innovative banking can be done in a more direct way," as the Tangerine website says. Brand awareness and affinity were the top-line objectives. Attracting new accounts was close behind. Goals also included retaining the almost two million ING DIRECT customers, while the bank transitioned to Tangerine.

Google brought some key studies forward. It became a sort of culmination of ideas from other executions they had seen elsewhere. That cemented how we could leverage YouTube differently than anyone in Canada had before—the whole notion of being contextual and in the moment with the customer.

Tangerine assembled a digital dream team for the job: Toronto creative agency john st., the brand engagement agency Dashboard, the media agency Initiative and Google Canada. In early February, everyone met in a Google BrandWorks session in Toronto, basically remaining in one room until a winning campaign strategy emerged.

"We were doing mass campaign TV shoots at the time," says Nicholson. "So we figured out how to piggyback off those to expedite our production."

Google spearheaded the idea of contextual advertising. "We were asking ourselves, 'Okay, so how can we do this differently, leveraging Google and the pervasive network it has, to reach Canadians? How can we leverage these platforms to do it differently?'"

"Google brought some key studies forward. It became a sort of culmination of ideas from other executions they had seen elsewhere. That cemented how we could leverage YouTube differently than anyone in Canada had before—€”the whole notion of being contextual and in the moment with the customer."

Tangerine's creative agencies developed 13 15-second YouTube-specific videos (five in both French and English) featuring the friendly guy with the orange coffee mug that also appeared in the mass TV campaign. Google provided the keywords most commonly searched by Canadians in five categories. Dashboard created all digital and online components, including the contextual pre-roll ads, social media assets, website assets and banner ads.

The spots started with a reference to your search, then quickly flipped into low interest rates, no fees, higher interest on deposits and no minimums—€”some of the key benefits of banking with Tangerine.

"Hey, what a coincidence. I love cars too..." Watch Ad
"I'm actually a bit of a do-it-yourselfer too..." Watch Ad
"I'm proud of you for getting in shape..." Watch Ad
"That's not a good song. That's a great song!..." Watch Ad

Of course, pre-roll ads are skippable after a few seconds. "People are going to skip ads, so we needed our ads to breakthrough with the viewer quickly." says Nicholson.

Happily, a large number of viewers did not skip the engaging guy with the coffee mug. When the campaign concluded five weeks later, Tangerine found that 18% of people watched its ad right to the end, exceeding expectations and reinforcing that compelling content both captures and holds an audience's attention. Total impressions exceeded 8,350,000 nationwide. According to a Google Brand Lift study, Tangerine's brand recall increased 26% and brand awareness by 6.5%. Search queries for Tangerine have increased 341% since March.

"We're now on par with native brand awareness, as we were as ING DIRECT," says Nicholson. "We exceeded our expectations."

And customers? "We've picked up momentum. Our acquisition target is very aggressive this year," says Nicholson, "and we're on track."

Proof of Tangerine's customer appeal came in August when the bank scored the highest rating, by a significant margin, of all Canadian banks (including the Big Five) in the annual J.D. Power Canadian Retail Banking Satisfaction Study. With 836 points out of a possible 1,000 points, Tangerine was well ahead of the next-highest rating of 763 points.

Tangerine also plans to stay on top of digital marketing innovations. "There are brilliant marketers in this country and they are doing some great things with these platforms," says Nicholson. "As more advertisers figure this out and start doing it, we're going to be looking for the next breakthrough."