Moneris taps the passion of entrepreneurs

The payment provider changes its creative focus in its first video spot to better connect with small business owners.


“Passion” is an oft-cited characteristic of a successful entrepreneur. Moneris is attempting to tap into that mindset with its new campaign, “Café Helen.”

In the spot, time-lapse video shows the eponymous restaurant scale up as the owner hangs an “open” sign on the door and the small café expands, getting busier and busier. It gets a patio, receives more deliveries, takes over the space beside it, and becomes big enough to require a new sign installation to accommodate the expansion. The voiceover says “your business is your passion, ours is helping you grow it.”

“Café Helen,” which was led by AOR No Fixed Address and launched on Monday, is a change in focus by the payment processor, which is doing its first ever video broadcast spot to accompany digital, radio and OOH advertising.

“For years we have been doing three channels, but our persona work found we were missing a key component,” says Jeff Guthrie, chief sales and marketing officer at Moneris. Guthrie tells strategy that small business owners were spending lots of time consuming video content, splitting their screen time between streaming and network television. Moneris is coming up with different variations of the spot to leverage on its digital channels.

Moneris_CafeHelen_Billboard_March6The biggest change in the approach, apart from the chosen media, is the thematic focus on the customer and the business person being “the star,” Guthrie says. Moneris wanted to tap into the passion of the entrepreneur and small business owner, “rather than talking about what Moneris does,” as it has done in the past.

The café theme, says Guthrie, was selected because of its relatability – across every demographic and across any geographical locale. According to Business Development Bank of Canada, the retail sector and wholesale trade represent the large number of small businesses in Canada, at 18.8%. Guthrie says, “Everyone at some point in their life dreams of owning a restaurant. Or at least a lot of people do.”

The campaign will air on network television on April 8. It will run until the end of June, and will take a summer hiatus before ending in the fall. That’s when a reassessment will take place, based on feedback from clients and market research, to determine call-ins and response rates.

Entrepreneurs have become a common target for brands across the financial services category, from other payment providers to banks to software providers.