RBC aims to make ‘Someday’ more emotive

As part of its 2018 Olympic push, the bank turns to documentary-style spots to tell athletes' backstories.

RBC continues to build off its “Someday” platform, running two new Olympic spots that delve into the backstory of Canadian athletes.

One of the 30-second TV spots features snowboarder Spencer O’Brien narrating her journey to the games, telling viewers that she’s from the “middle of nowhere,” a town of 600 people with no street lights, but “with enough spirit to take me to PyeongChang.” In the other, hockey player Marie-Philip Poulin shares her experience growing up being told that “hockey’s for boys.” She would eventually become a two-time Olympic gold medalist.

Matt McGlynn, VP of brand marketing at RBC, says the ads are meant to be “a little bit more raw and emotive” than those of past executions. The idea was to have a more unflinching, documentary-style look at the experiences of athletes, building off the backstory angle explored during RBC’s 2016 “Someday” campaign.

The masterbrand campaign complements an Olympic execution specific to the bank’s Avion travel rewards program, an effort leveraging a two-year contract with Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris and aimed at explaining the reasons “Avioners” love to travel.

RBC began rolling out its TV assets on Jan. 15, ahead of the games’ opening ceremonies on Feb. 9. McGlynn says the pre-Olympics media buys were an attempt to compete during a highly competitive time for advertisers. He says the winter Olympics are especially difficult but important to penetrate, given Canadians’ heightened expectations and sense of pride during the winter sporting event.

BBDO led the creative, with Initiative on media.

In addition to the “Someday” spots, the bank is also running a spot for RBC Training Ground featuring one of the program’s regional winners, Sarah Orban. RBC Training Ground is a funding program that identifies and support young athletes with Olympic potential.

McGlynn says RBC has tried to differentiate from other Olympic sponsors through the size of its campaign, pushing content through its “Someday Space,” a social hub and greenroom created by CBC where athletes go before being interviewed by host Scott Russell. In a partnership with Spotify, the bank also curated Olympians’ playlists.

The first execution of “Someday” was delivered during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The platform has evolved slightly over time, says McGlynn, but “in the end, it’s about people having goals, and RBC helping them achieve them.”