Tangerine’s hardworking anthem

The bank launches its first mass campaign since 2014, acknowledging what it takes to earn a paycheck.


To paraphrase Donna Summer, we work hard for the money. Now, Tangerine is hoping it can connect with Canadians by recognizing that we all put in a lot of effort to make our dollars and should be rewarded with an equally hardworking financial institution.

A new campaign by John St. is the bank’s first since 2014, when it began rolling out its new name (rebranded from the ING Direct) and introduced its “Forward Banking” tagline. Its main spot, aptly titled “Hard Work,” depicts the sometimes downright dirty ins and outs of having a job (complete with a shot of a massage therapist taking on a back that could use a wax).

Completing the main spot, set to a musical version of the left-right-left military cadence created by RMW Music, is Tangerine’s brand message that since Canadians work hard for their money, their bank should too.

The national campaign, in English and French, includes 60-, 30- and 15-second spots, running on TV,  online and in cinema, along with digital and social media and likely some experiential. Relish Editing cut the spots, with PHD on the media buy.

“What we wanted was a really emotional brand message that supports forward banking and supports Tangerine,” says Brenda Rideout, chief strategy and marketing officer at the bank. “We wanted to position Tangerine as human, a brand that is empathetic to hardworking Canadians, and we wanted to do so by creating an emotional journey that would keep the audience engaged.”

The campaign is broadly targeted at Canadians, but Tangerine does go after what it calls the “hyper direct” customer, or one who is tech savvy and interested in taking control over their financial decisions. That means it’s more of a mindset than a particular age demographic, and Tangerine estimate that there are 12 million Canadians who fit into that group, Rideout says.

Positioning Tangerine as an everyday bank with a purpose is key to this push. “I don’t think it’s so much being digital, I think it’s that our competition is 150 years old, so their unaided awareness is extremely high,” she says of one of the bank’s challenges when getting consumers to consider the bank. She adds that many people still don’t realize that Tangerine has more “everyday” banking offerings like physical customer service locations, ATMs and a credit card.

Still, despite investing in capabilities like biometrics, Tangerine wanted its brand message to be emotive and focus more on the role it can have in people’s lives. “All of the competition is focused on convenience and technology features and we wanted to be the bank with a purpose,” Rideout says. “When you think about our purpose, it’s to help Canadians live better lives by helping them make smarter decisions with their money.”