National Bank serves up a look at the future

Eye-tracking and 3D technology bring an innovation-focused positioning to the bank's Rogers Cup sponsorship.

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National Bank is deploying same new technology to activate its sponsorship of the Rogers Cup tennis tournament, part of ongoing efforts to position itself as a future-focused, yet accessible bank.

During the course of the tournament – which runs until Aug. 11 in Montreal and Toronto – the bank is running an activation it calls “Eyes on the Future,” a screen at its branded terrace that shows visitors sequences of images organized around different themes. Using eye-tracking technology, the bank will then tell the visitors which images “inspired” them the most, helping them determine what their future aspirations might be.

05_Tunnel_IMG_5144_72dpiAt the Rogers Cup venue in Montreal, the terrace also features a guided experience through some of the technological innovations National Bank is pursuing, with lights and sounds that are responsive to the movements of people walking through it.

In Toronto, spectators entering the venue during “National Bank Day” will be given a pair of 3D glasses, which they will be able to use during a half-time event to decode a message on centre court as part of a contest.

National Bank again worked with agency Vibrant on the activation.

This is the eighth year National Bank has been a sponsor of the Rogers Cup, something Eric Brouillet, president of Vibrant, said attendees are well acquainted with by this point. While past activations around the sponsorship have been much more tennis-centric, the longevity of the partnership has opened an opportunity to bring the focus back to banking.

“[Attendees are] now ready to try an experience that’s centred on the banking world rather than on tennis, but is still fun,” Brouillet said. “Our mission is to engage the target audience by having them envision the bank of tomorrow; we also want to listen to what they have to say to better support them in the future.”

Marie-Ève Lemay, senior director of partnerships and experiential marketing at National Bank, added that part of the goal is to interact with the public in a way that shows National Bank’s “spirit of innovation,” but do so in a way that still makes it seem simple and efficient, rather than complicated by new technology. That’s part of a brand positioning launched last year to be more client-centric and accessible, though it also fits with other experiential and out-of-home efforts that have been meant to connect the bank with prospective entrepreneurs and startup founders.