CASSIES Silver: Tangerine bears the fruits of branding success

To break through the clutter, the challenger bank unveiled its new identity, gaining awareness and clientele.

Off to a Good Start

Situation Analysis: In August 2012, it was announced that ING Direct would be sold to Scotiabank, a condition of which was a legal requirement to transition the brand and visual identity by May 2014, necessitating a new name, logo, design system and creative platform. The new brand identity had to break through the banking clutter while maintaining the uniqueness of the ING Direct brand: a challenger bank that did things differently.

Twelve months of consumer research, name development and validation resulted in the name, Tangerine. Brand awareness for Tangerine had to be achieved within the first six months after the existing ING client base had been acclimatized to the transition prior to implementation.

Insight & Strategy: The “Big Six” banks had long been associated with complexity and doing things the old fashioned way; but they were no longer the inflexible organizations of old, having moved into digital, created better mobile apps and streamlined their processes – but Canadians still perceived them as being unhelpful and difficult to navigate. Using the big six banks as a point of comparison, Tangerine could be positioned as anything but your typical bank. To create a smooth rebrand from ING Direct to Tangerine, existing clients and employees needed to be involved throughout the transition.

Execution: Running from Nov. 5, 2013 to June 1, 2014, the campaign began by revealing the new name and logo to employees, clients and the press before it could be leaked. Tangerine was then launched to the general public in late March, 2014, in two phases, the first explained the transition of ING Direct to Tangerine with a 30-second TV ad supported by print ads, and a microsite, announcing, “We’re changing our name, but we’ll never change who we are.”

In early April, the second phase, a nationwide integrated awareness campaign aimed to get consumers to really think about how they were doing their banking, ran on television with 60- and 30-second ads, along with print, radio, OOH and digital, intercepting the target at multiple points throughout their day when they were idle and might consider Tangerine.

Results: There was a 91% increase in new customer applications in the eight weeks following the April brand launch compared to the period eight weeks prior while the rate of client attrition decreased by 25% in the two months following the transition. Unaided brand awareness for Tangerine reached 15% on June 1, 2014, more than double the target and three percentage points higher than awareness of ING Direct. Awareness of the name change exceeded 70% among 25- to 34-year-olds.

Cause & Effect: News and media coverage totalled 81.1 million earned media impressions with 186 unique news stories covering the transition in national publications like the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and Maclean’s as well as coverage on major news channels, websites and blogs. Spending levels for the campaign period were considerably less than those of the competition, with renewed competition from President’s Choice Financial lowering Tangerine’s SOV during the campaign period. During the campaign, a promotional 2.50% interest rate on new deposits to saving accounts was consistent with activity from the same spring period in 2013.


Client: Tangerine
CMO: Andrew Zimakas
Associate VPs marketing: Mark Nicholson, Gaurav
Agency: John St.
ECDs: Angus Tucker, Stephen Jurisic
CD/CW: Chris Hirsch
CD/AD: Nellie Kim
Executive producer: Mike Hasinoff
Account lead: Heather Crawley
Account supervisor: Ben Prout
Account executive: Todd Bennie
Digital agency: Dashboard
Media agency: Initiative
Direct mail agency: Response Innovations
PR agency: Apex PR