Desjardins forges ahead with Montreal Canadiens alignment

The financial co-op adds Quebec sportscaster Pierre Houde to the mix in its third "Share the Passion Challenge."

Desjardins

Financial services co-op Desjardins Group has partnered with a celebrated sportscaster to help show the passion of its members in the third iteration of its “Share the Passion Challenge.”

Desjardins first launched the challenge in 2016, with a contest that saw five members and three friends receive VIP evenings at the Bell Centre to watch the Montreal Canadiens hockey team play. This year, the company is again running the contest, but participants will increase their odds by answering a series of questions online.

As they proceed through an online quiz, contestants are subjected to the commentary of a digital version of Pierre Houde, a well-known Quebec sportscaster and longtime Montreal Canadiens commentator: “My goodness, you’re on fire!” he might say, depending on the answer submitted, or, “You need a bit more focus.”

A campaign supporting the challenge began rolling out on Dec. 6 and includes three online videos, radio, web banners, social and programmatic OOH signage. Created by Montreal agency Bob, the campaign is targeting the Quebec market but is available to Desjardins members across the country.

One of the spots, called “Un lundi chez Desjardins” (which translates to “a Monday at Desjardins”), shows a bank employee conclude an office presentation and then grab a Montreal Canadiens-inspired water bottle and squirt himself much like a hockey player would. The ad is meant to show that “this is how fans live at Desjardins.”

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Johanne Brousseau, donations, sponsorships and brand management director at Desjardins, says the bank’s partnership with the Montreal Canadiens, the “icon of hockey” in Quebec, has been an important part of the company’s renewal efforts, especially among younger demographics. As a co-op, she says, the organization must strive to remain close to its members, and that means demonstrating how they “share the same values.”

Now in its third year, Brousseau says the bank and Bob strove to push the creative a little further, injecting it with a little more humour and fun. Adding Pierre Houde to the mix was based on the Quebec market’s “appreciation” of the star, among both older and younger sports fans, she says.

This year, winners of the “Share the Passion Challenge” will receive four tickets in the Club Desjardins section at the Bell Centre, a meet-and-greet with a former player, dinner at the arena’s 9-4-10 restaurant, four autographed jerseys and other perks.

Bob remains the company’s partner on the Montreal Canadiens sponsorship, while Touche! is handling media duties for the campaign. Late last month, however, Desjardins picked Bleublancrouge to be its new AOR, replacing Lg2 and Touche and ending a 15- and a three-year relationship, respectively.

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