Credit Karma shows the upside to progress

The brand's latest campaign aims to illustrate the benefits of keeping up to date on your credit score.

In Credit Karma’s new “Here’s to Progress” campaign, the brand ties credit scores to lifestyle enhancements in order to show there’s always room for improvement.

There are two spots, and both show users improving their station in life along with their credit scores. In the first, a buyer mulls over the purchase of a dilapidated rust-bucket vehicle with a duct-taped window, and then is exposed to increasingly luxurious rides. In the second, a tenant has a dingy, cramped apartment with an overbearing roommate and eventually moves into her own swanky condo.

“We wanted to show that actively knowing and improving your credit score can create positive and tangible outcomes in life,” according to Dana Marineau, VP of brand, communications and creative at Credit Karma.

According to company data, nearly three quarters of Canadian families carry debt in some form (mortgages, car loans, lines of credit, personal loans or student debt). In December, the total debt load of all Canadian households sat at over $2 trillion, leading to higher economic anxiety and uncertainty. Marineau says fear mongering is a prevalent tactic used more broadly in the financial industry in response to this anxiety, but the brand wanted to focus more on optimism as Credit Karma is “an inherently optimistic brand.”

Marineau says that with its prior 2016 campaign, the brand simply wanted people to check their scores, addressing a market where two-thirds of Canadians had no idea what a credit score was. With this incarnation, it was about highlighting the transition from knowing a score to ameliorating it.

When it comes to the marketplace, the Canadian one is more “heavily prime,” than the U.S., Marineau says (referring to a classification of borrowers, rates or holdings in the lending market that are considered to be of high quality, as opposed to below-prime borrowing that can carry more risk and higher interest rates). She says while this is positive, it can result in complacency, as there is always room for improvement.

Currently, Credit Karma has more than two million members in Canada, according to Marineau.

Created by Taxi Vancouver and The Embassy, the first digital spot launched recently in Quebec. The rest of the “Here’s to Progress” campaign will continue to roll out across Canada and extend into US and UK markets.