RBC’s retirement reality

The bank uses a reality TV-inspired webisode to target the Boomer crowd.


Can a “retirement designer” double as a marriage counselor?

At Royal Bank of Canada, so-called “retirement designers” offer a two-in-one service as they prepare the retirement-ready for their future plans. Or at least that’s the gist of a new 10-minute campaign video launched this week that has RBC financial planner Bill Hill walking a couple through realistic future options.

The video is part of the bank’s larger retirement campaign that debuted last week on Globe Retirement, a recently-launched Globe and Mail weekly print and online product. RBC joined the new product as an exclusive partner for its first three months.

In the video, soon-to-retire couple Ron and Gillian are at odds over their vision for the ideal post-retirement life. RBC’s retirement designer, Bill Hill, opens the couple’s eyes to the daily reality in their imagined post-retirement lives: Gillian has to clean out and move heavy wine casks while Bill is made to mow a cottage property’s spacious lawn. Eventually,  the couple re-evaluates their dreams and arrives at a doable post-retirement plan: staying in their own home, being close to family with many planned vacations.

Creative for the campaign was handled by MacLaren McCann with media by M2 Universal.  

The campaign also includes TV spots on CTV News as well as on specialty channels like Food Network and on HGTV where Alan Depencier, VP, marketing at RBC, says the reality-TV type webisode concept matches the channel’s style. The campaign, however, is largely online with the national buy extending across Google, YouTube and Facebook to drive reach and video views. Programmatic is also being used. The campaign also includes 15- and 30-second video spots, all leading to a Retirement Designers microsite.

The Globe and Mail partnership is one part of RBC’s larger strategy for a national campaign to build awareness around its retirement planning services based on in-house research indicating that Canadian boomers are not adequately prepared for the retirement stage of their lives. According to this research, 48% of Canadian boomers have not begun planning for retirement and are not engaged in qualitative conversations with their partners, says Depencier.

The campaign aimed at taking an “innovative approach to get folks to have a different kind of conversation around retirement” with the webisode designed to engage Canadian boomers with the subject. A more specific goal was to get boomers to the RBC website (which offers interactive tools) or to a branch and connect them with an adviser like Bill Hill (though no more trips to wine or cottage country are on offer). 

From Media in Canada