BMO kicks off Guinness World Record attempt

The bank spent Thursday at Toronto's Yonge-Dundas Square attempting to break the record for the largest soccer ball mural.
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BMO is a bank that near lives and breathes soccer; the sport is in its organizational DNA, manifested in numerous league sponsorships across Canada. This love for the game made a flashy appearance yesterday when the brand attempted (and acheived) a Guinness World Record for the largest soccer ball mosaic.

The floor mural took shape in Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square from early morning to late afternoon, with participants having to first kick a soccer ball into a large net. They then made their way to the installation to place one of a thousand red, white or blue balls in an outlined square, and the mosaic eventually came to fruition in the shape of the BMO logo.

In order for the brand to reach the 1,000 ball mark by the end of the day and break the record – which BMO claims to be set by Ricoh in England earlier this year – one ball had to be placed every 30 seconds, says Grace Kim, senior marketing manager, BMO Financial Group.

The stunt helped promote the BMO Gold Air Miles Mastercard bonus offer which rewards newly registered bank cardholders with 1,000 Air Miles, the equivalent of a round trip flight from Toronto to Ottawa, for example.

Typically, the bank will publicize its summer offer by way of light traditional media, such as transit ads, signage in its branches and on its website, she says, but it decided to give the promotion a bit of a splashy treatment.

“We usually talk about how people can travel in the summer and how the 1,000 air miles can provide a short haul flight. So that’s always been the lead-in message,” adds Kim. “But then when we looked at this event, in terms of how to bring in summer and soccer, we landed on this. It’s the first time that we’ve gone out with an event activation.”

BMO wasn’t the only brand that set up camp in the city square yesterday; its partners Metro and Mastercard were also there with ambassadors to hand out free barbeque bites and beverages, supporting the execution. The stunt, planned by Free For All Marketing, also had a cause in mind and saw BMO, Air Miles and Mastercard each donating $10,000 to youth counseling service, Kids Help Phone.