CIBC adds a personal touch to its multicultural marketing

The bank promotes its Global Money Transfer by putting more effort into reflecting the cultures of new Canadians.
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CIBC has launched a new campaign for its Global Money Transfer service, which also marks a new approach to speaking to Canada’s immigrant communities.

Videos for the campaign show people in Canada sending money to family members back home using Global Money Transfer, exemplified by a paper airplane flying across a border in the middle of the screen. The creative and voice-over emphasize the fact that money transfers overseas with CIBC are received quickly and come with no additional or surprise fees.

For the campaign, CIBC tapped multicultural marketing agency Ethnicity, which collaborated with Juniper Park\TBWA and Mediacom on creative and media buying, respectively. Assets will be appearing on TV, radio, print and out-of-home, both in English and other languages depending on the community being spoken to.

CIBC first launched its Global Money Transfer service in late 2015. The bank is still competing with established wire transfer companies like Western Union, but since then, startup competitors like TransferWise have emerged, so Angela Sarino, senior director of marketing communications at CIBC, says it was a good time to remind new Canadians of the benefits of CIBC’s transfer service.

“We wanted to let people in Canada know we have the only no-fee remitance service in Canada, but we wanted to be able to do that in a way that was meaningful to immigrants to Canada,” she says. “Other wires that can cost upwards of $40, and could take weeks to receive, not to mention surprise fees for the recipient. With this, it really is the full amount that gets sent and received.”

One key difference viewers might recognize is that the ads do not feature Percy, CIBC’s long-running “spokespenguin” that has appeared in the majority of the bank’s marketing in recent years. While Percy is an easy connection to the CIBC brand for most Canadians, Sarino says that link might not be as strong with those new to the country.

“We thought it was more important to relate to immigrant populations on an emotional basis and reflect their culture back to them, instead of maintaining a connection to a mascot,” Sarino says. “We wanted to find a way to reflect back an image of someone who might be a little more relateable to the immigrant population. By using the faces of the communities we are trying to reach, we’re able to better reflect the cultures we are trying to speak to, be it in what they are doing, wearing, where they are and what kinds of props we give them.”

The campaign also included a higher budget than is typical for multicultural campaigns, largely due to producing multiple pieces of creative that speaks to different immigrant populations – CIBC can send transfers to 65 countries – and uses human talent instead of animation.

Previous efforts to promote the Global Money Transfer to new Canadians featured more vague imagery, such as paper airplanes and globes, and Sarino says the bank was looking to use real actors to bring its messaging to life in a way that could create a stronger emotional link.

“Those worked to an extent, but they were too similar to a lot of other creative you see in the marketplace,” Sarino says. “We wanted to take a stand and say we’ve got this great product and we think it’s a fit for so many of you. And by saying that while reflecting communities they are a part of, it has more of an impact and stands out more.”