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

From Karen Howe’s dining table: Creativity, COVID and Cannes

ICYMI, The Township's founder gathers the best of the best campaigns and trends so far.

Cannes Base Camp

By Karen Howe

I’m attending Cannes from the glory of my dining room table. There’s not a palm tree in sight, yet inspiration and intel are present in abundance.

Cannes Lions is a global cultural pulse check. The social course correction in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and BLM has delivered far greater diversity in the judging panels as well as the work. And we are all better for it.

I’m proud to say that creativity defeated COVID, which speaks to its power. Great work and big ideas flourished, despite unimaginable odds.

The work from the past two years spans a vast emotional range. From the profundity of Dove’s “Courage is Beautiful” to the hyper exuberance of Burberry’s “Festive,” they are opposite ends of the spectrum, but each answered a need in us.

Take note, the ascendency of gaming cannot be understated. Smart brands have embraced the channel. It makes sense, because gamers participate to meet others around the world, not just to play. And they represent a huge and powerful community. That’s why QSR Wendy’s gamified their iconic gal in RPG’s Feast of Legends.

Burger King sponsored the unknown Stevenage Football Club, transforming the team into online heroes and vaulting BK into the fray at the same time. Once again, the brand embedded itself in culture.

The birth of gaming tourism arrived when Xbox snuggled up to travel guides and created a brilliant baby: a travel guide for gaming worlds. It, too, embedded itself in culture.

From the standpoint of social good, Reporter Without Borders showed how it worked with Mindcraft for its “Uncensored Library” to bypass press censorship, with Minecraft providing a loophole to a space where young people could be educated. It provided youth with a powerful tool to fight oppression: truth.

COVID changed us in unexpected ways. We learned how to pay attention again and there was a notable lack of 30-second commercials. Instead, longer format content thrived. Apple’s WFH was seven minutes long. Entertainment reigned king, so we find ourselves returning to our advertising roots.

Seeing competitive brands form partnerships was one of this year’s other great surprises. The brilliantly simple “Beer Cap Project” by Aguila to reduce binge-drinking saw the brand reach out to competitive beers to join in. Aguila put incentivizing (keyword: free) reminders to drink water, eat food and get home safely on its bottle caps from all sorts of fast food chains, ride-share co’s and H2O brands.

On a personal level, I’m so proud of Canada again this year. Given that it was two years of work from all over the world being judged, even making the Cannes shortlist was an accomplishment. Canada is herding in the Lions in tremendous numbers – and it’s not even over. Fingers are crossed.

KAREN-HOWE-PIC-higher-rez-300x263Karen Howe is a Canadian Cannes Advisory Board Member and founder of The Township Group