RBC reboots ‘Someday’ with an Olympic touch

The bank is focusing on Canadians' personal backstories in four new spots and tying the theme into the Rio games.

To reboot its “Someday” platform, RBC had a “record-scratch moment.”

With banks often focusing on the end of a story involving personal achievement – the “shiny happy moment” in commercials, with a person on a yacht or dock, as VP of marketing Alan Depencier puts it – RBC wanted to show that the road to achieving a goal isn’t always easy.

It’s a message that meshes well with the Olympic journey. RBC is launching its four new 30-second TV spots, which will also run as pre-roll, during the opening ceremonies this evening, showing the backstory to the happy endings of its “Someday” platform.

One spot shows a man quitting his corporate job to start a craft brewery, trading in his suit and clean cut for a plaid shirt and beard. Another shows a woman visiting her immigrant parents’ hometown, with flashbacks to their struggles as new Canadians. And one spot naturally highlights an Olympic journey, featuring hurdler Tania Bambi’s struggle to Rio.

All of them share the “record-scratch” narrative technique, moving from the present “Someday” to provide the backstory through a series of quick cuts.

“In this world of intense social media scrutiny, where people share these perfect moments with these perfect filters, it’s not real life,” says Mary DePaoli, RBC’s chief brand and communications officer.

“The insight we took away from that is people want to see the journeys, and the real-life struggles and the real-life successes.”

The brand is taking the same approach to its Rio sponsorship. It’s partnered with CBC to have its own “Someday Space,” which athletes will visit for Facebook Live interviews before heading over to the main CBC set.

“These are genuine, authentic moments we’re going to capture of these athletes before they go in and put their makeup on and do their spiel for [CBC broadcaster Scott Russell],” says Matt McGlynn, senior director of brand marketing at RBC.

“It’s almost like ‘the real interview,’ which aligns with the execution of the backstory.”

RBC is also going after a younger audience with its foray into Snapchat, creating its own Olympic filter.

Closer to home, the bank has experiential activations at the Royal Bank Plaza in downtown Toronto, with two-storey visuals of athletes. There’s also a viewing lounge with an interactive media wall and past Olympians dropping by to sign autographs from Aug. 8 to 12.

The backstory focus will continue beyond the Olympics and guide creative into next year. “That’s the key shift you’re going to see in our communications strategy going forward,” Depencier says.

BBDO did the campaign creative, with Mosaic on experiential and Initiative on the media buy. Grip worked on a separate mobile campaign for the brand.