Cause + Action: CIBC runs in someone else’s shoes

The bank evolves its "Run for the Cure" with an emotional video from the perspective of a cancer patient.


The CIBC Run for the Cure program has been raising funds for breast cancer research for more than two decades. But in that time, dozens of other charity events have entered the picture.

CIBC needed to find a way to break through the clutter, reinforce its overall brand positioning and solidify the bank’s role as a leader in the cancer research cause category.


Research indicated that 76% of participants cited a personal connection to the cause. With this insight, CIBC created a fully integrated campaign consisting of newspaper ads, online banners and in-branch signage that featured real-life breast cancer patients and survivors. The centrepiece was the emotional video, “In Her Shoes,” about a breast cancer patient’s journey.


For the video, the brand and agency Cundari created a special body-mounted camera that gave viewers a first-person perspective. The audience could experience the life of a woman dealing with breast cancer at every stage: from the diagnosis to the sadness of telling her family, going through treatments, surgery, recovery and then participating in the run.

By showing the full arc of the narrative, viewers could see how breast cancer affects a person, as well as their friends and family. The video was promoted online and during the W Network’s primetime airing of the movie Love Actually.

What’s more, the brand also created the “Run For The Cure Digital Wall of Hope.” At every location the run took place, participants were able to write a message of hope on the wall.


With more than one million views, “In Her Shoes” is the most viewed video in the program’s history. According to third-party research, the campaign scored significantly higher than the industry norm on being “inspiring,” “moving” and “hopeful.”

The campaign also scored significantly higher than the norm on the attributes of: “Portrays a company I would like to be associated with,” “Makes me think about this company in a different way,” and “Worth talking about.” Also, more than 90% of run participants mentioned CIBC as a sponsor completely unaided, which is double the norm.

In the end, CIBC Run for the Cure attracted more than 125,000 participants in 66 different cities, and raised $25 million dollars for the cause.


“This year’s campaign really did an excellent job at refreshing awareness by reminding us of the reason we give and why we run. When you’ve been around a while, and you’re in a crowded market, it is extremely difficult to revive your presence. This campaign did a great job at reinvigorating and reasserting [CIBC's] run in the minds of its audience.”
– Allen Oke, TBWA\Toronto