Bond brokers, auto makers reach for younger buyers

Canada Savings Bonds (CSBs) have always been something of a mystery to the younger generation. However Ottawa-based Canada Investment and Savings has launched a promotion and multi-layered ad campaign to attract the youth demographic to its bonds and CSB savings plans.

Canada Savings Bonds (CSBs) have always been something of a mystery to the younger generation. However Ottawa-based Canada Investment and Savings has launched a promotion and multi-layered ad campaign to attract the youth demographic to its bonds and CSB savings plans.

‘As our long-time customers are getting older every year, we have to focus our attention elsewhere,’ explains Paul Bailey, VP of marketing at Canada Investment and Savings. ‘Our dual challenge here was to make our brand more appealing to the younger market without alienating our traditional buyers.’

With this in mind, two different contests were launched, one aimed at the youth demographic, and one at existing buyers.

The company’s third annual youth contest launched on Oct. 9 in association with YTV Canada and Groupe TVA. ‘The aim of this contest is not to try and sell bonds to kids, but simply to help them understand about good saving habits,’ says Bailey. ‘We have developed a very strong partnership with YTV and TVA over the past couple of years, so we wanted to keep that going. It’s a great way of communicating with kids.’

Three 15-second TV spots are airing on both networks throughout October, featuring the character Buck, who gives kids advice about saving and encourages them to log onto the Web sites www.ytv.com, www.tva.canoe.com and www.kidscansave.gc.ca. This is the second year in which the contest has included an online element. By accessing these sites, kids can enter the ‘Buck Save-a-lot Sing and Save’ contest to win a $500 bond and an allowance for one year ($40 a month).

Last year’s contest attracted 14,000 entries, and Bailey hopes to top that this year.

The contest for existing customers, ‘Tell Us Your CSB Story’ is running in association with Bell Globemedia. It is designed to encourage Canadians to share their personal stories about how CSBs have touched their lives in some way. Customers are invited to enter via the Web site www.sympatico.ca or via a link from www.csb.gc.ca between Oct. 4 and Nov. 30.

Storytellers of Canada, a national association, will judge entries. Thirteen entrants, representing each province and territory, will be awarded a $1,000 CSB, courtesy of Bell Globemedia. Their stories will be displayed on the CSB Web site.

Bailey says many entries have already been received, ranging from a story about how the savings bonds helped an infertile couple have a baby, to many accounts of bonds paying for education fees.

This contest is being promoted with Internet banner ads running on Bell Globemedia Web sites: TSN, the Outdoor Life Network, CTV, Discovery and Sympatico Lycos.

Supporting the promotions is a multi-dimensional ad campaign that includes a series of billboard ads now displayed at Central Station in Montreal and Union Station in Toronto. The ads depict Canadians of all ages, contemplating their savings goals such as a downtown loft, matching dishes and season tickets. Each ad is branded with the tag line, ‘You can get there.’ It will run until the end of the year, also incorporating outdoor banners, backlit posters, floor talkers and door stickers.

‘The overall brand message of this campaign is one of empowerment and security,’ says Bailey. ‘By starting with us, you can reach your goal in the end.’

A 30-second TV spot will run until March 2002 in both English and French, using Canadian imagery to reflect the dependability offered by CSBs through stories of individuals achieving their savings goals.

The print campaign encompasses daily newspapers and magazines, and a series of online advertisements will promote this year’s offer of buying bonds via the Internet. The ads will appear on portals such as Sympatico, MSN, 24/7 and Quicken. Point-of-sale materials are also being distributed to financial institutions across Canada.

Vickers & Benson Arnold of Toronto developed creative for the campaign while Publicité-Martin in Montreal handled P-O-S material. The contests were developed and marketed by PR agency Goodman Communications.

Young car buyers targeted

Also making a push towards the younger generation, Windsor, Ont.-based DaimlerChrysler Canada brought its latest models directly to Canadian students with a university campus event-tour this fall. During the first two weeks of September, the car manufacturer showed off its vehicles on nine campuses in Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, Waterloo, London and Vancouver.

In the first event, ‘Paint the PT,’ students were invited to paint a Chrysler PT Cruiser model to their own taste, using washable paints. Pictures of all the painted cars were posted on the student Web site www.upath.com to allow students across the country to vote for the coolest car. A PT Cruiser, to be used in a countrywide student drive-safe program, will be awarded to the university that gets the most votes by Oct. 27.

A second event called ‘I’ll be graduating before you know it,’ offered students the chance to be photographed standing next to a Chrysler Neon or PT Cruiser. The photos were sent, together with a cheeky message, hinting how much the student would like the car, to the parents of each participating student. All students who took part were entered into a prize draw to win $5,000 towards their tuition fees.

‘Students are the next generation of car buyers so we need to make them aware of the Chrysler brand and our products,’ says Pearl Davies, Chrysler/Jeep brand manager for DaimlerChrysler Canada. ‘This was a great way to introduce them to our youth-oriented products.’

The tour was organized by Montreal-based youth event company, Gearwerx Content Networks, together with advertising agency, PentaMark Worldwide, a Windsor, Ont.-based division of BBDO Worldwide.