Talvest co-brands funds with FP Index

When Montreal-based financial services provider Talvest Mutual Funds decided to make an aggressive move into the Ontario market, the upstart firm chose national newspapers as the vehicle for building its brand. Now, that's not exactly a radical move in itself. Just...

When Montreal-based financial services provider Talvest Mutual Funds decided to make an aggressive move into the Ontario market, the upstart firm chose national newspapers as the vehicle for building its brand.

Now, that’s not exactly a radical move in itself. Just about every fund company in Canada can be found touting its wares in the business pages of The Globe and Mail or the National Post. But Talvest has taken that strategy a step further, creating a group of funds co-branded with the Financial Post Index (FPX).

‘It was a way to establish and build our brand with a very well-known media player in English Canada,’ says Sylvain Brosseau, Talvest’s vice-president of marketing. ‘It’s a win-win situation. We’re obviously trying to leverage our association with the National Post.’

The funds are based on the FPX, a market index created for the Post by Toronto-based financial experts Richard Croft and Evan Kirzner. (An index is a benchmark for investors – essentially, a set of stocks and other investment vehicles selected because their performance will reflect the overall performance of the market.)

Talvest launched its new offering in early December, with a sponsored supplement in the Post.

Croft analyzes the FPX in a weekly column for the paper, which Brosseau says makes the fund easier for investors to understand and follow. ‘It’s a way to easily keep track of what’s going on in their portfolio,’ he explains.

While Talvest has no say in the content of the column, it does advertise the FPX group of funds in the Post.

Ron Clark, senior vice-president, sales and marketing at the National Post, says that from the paper’s standpoint, the Talvest deal is essentially a licensing arrangement, bringing in both royalties and ad revenues.

For Talvest, on the other hand, the deal is primarily about brand association. The link gives the fund company instant credibility – a crucial commodity in its efforts to crack a new market, says François Lacossiere, vice-president, strategy with Talvest’s Montreal-based agency, Diesel Marketing.

‘Talvest gets to partner with a brand that’s well-known in the Canadian financial market,’ he says. ‘In launching your product, you build on the equity of the Financial Post. So the curve of credibility and awareness goes faster, and it’s easier to sustain after that.’

Newspapers play an integral role in Talvest’s overall marketing strategy. The company currently has a high-profile branding campaign running in the financial pages of the Globe and the Post, featuring the tagline ‘Life’s long. Be ready.’

‘It’s difficult for a smaller company to dominate one medium, and it’s even harder to dominate many media,’ Brosseau says. ‘So right now we’ve [focused on the national dailies], with a bold presence, full-page ads in colour – and that has created some attention.’

Brosseau says Talvest’s share of the tough Canadian mutual fund market has increased in all but two of the last 30 months. And with its Financial Post association, plus the ongoing branding effort, the company is hoping to continue building that share.

Also in this report:

- Launch of Post good news for advertisers: Upstart daily has jump-started the industry, prompting offers of better rates, bonus ads and new loyalty programs p.NP3

- Stop the presses: Dailies are changing: No longer acting as simple order-takers p.NP4

- Picture perfect: It’s obvious that visually driven creative works well in newspaper. So why don’t more advertisers use it? NP5

- Telcos reward readers with a laugh: MTT and Bell Mobility employ unusual formats to nab attention p.NP6

- Savingumoney.com builds awareness offline: Coupon portal uses newspapers as linchpin of media strategy p.NP7

- Cadillac takes the long view: Used frequency of newspaper creatively by telling a different story every week p.NP10

- Edmonton Journal: Time for a change: Daily goes for a facelift p.NP10

- Whistler taps fast turnaround times: Newspaper lets ski resort react quickly to changing circumstances p.NP13

In Brief: The Garden picks CDs to take on daily creative leadership

Plus, Naked names two new leaders of its own and Digital Ethos comes to Canada.

The Garden promotes two creative directors

ACDs Lindsay Eady and Francheska Galloway-Davis have taken over responsibility for day-to-day creative leadership at The Garden after being promoted to creative director roles.

The pair will also help develop the agency’s creative talent, formalizing mentorship and leadership activities they have been doing since joining the agency four and three years ago, respectively. In addition to creating the agency’s internship program, the pair have worked on campaigns for Coinsquare, FitTrack and “The Coke Challenge” campaign for DanceSafe.

Eady and Galloway-Davis will continue to report to The Garden’s co-founder and chief creative officer Shane Ogilvie, who is stepping back from daily creative duties to a more high-level strategic role, allowing him to focus on client relationships and business growth.

Naked Creative Consultancy names new creative and strategy leadership

Toronto’s Naked Creative Consultancy has hired Yasmin Sahni as its new creative director. She is taking over creative leadership from David Kenyon, who has been in the role for 10 years and is moving into a new role as director of strategy, leading the discipline at the agency.

Sahni is coming off of three years as VP and ECD at GTB’s Toronto office, where she managed all the retail, social and service creative for Ford Canada. She previously managed both Vice Media and Vice’s in-house ad agency Virtue.

Peter Shier, president of Naked, says Sahni’s hiring adds to its creative bench and capabilities, as well as a track record of mentorship, a priority for the company. Meanwhile, Kenyon’s move to the strategy side, he says, makes sense because of his deep knowledge of its clients, which have included Ancestry and The Globe and Mail.

Digital Ethos opens a Toronto office

U.K. digital agency Digital Ethos is pursuing new growth opportunities in North America by opening a new office in Toronto.

Though it didn’t disclose them, the agency has begun serving a number of North American clients, and CEO/founder Luke Tobin says the “time was right to invest in a more formal and actual presence in the area.” whose services include design, SEO, pay-per-click, social media, influencer and PR,

This year, the agency’s growth has also allowed it to open an office in Hamburg, Germany, though it also has remote staff working in countries around the world.

Moray Hickes was the company’s first North American hire as VP of sales, tasked with business development in the region.