CIBC puts the focus on ‘I’ during Pride

The bank makes a broader statement about diversity and inclusion by revisiting its identity during Pride celebrations.

Pride_Squares-Strategy_Article-01CIBC is looking at the Pride as an opportunity to support everyone who participates, including its own employees, to make a broader statement about the importance of diversity and inclusion.

This year, it worked with agency Fuse Marketing Group to further embed that message within a redesigned logo that goes beyond including the rainbow flag and colours, which a growing number of brands have adopted in support of Pride in recent years.

In CIBC’s campaign identity, the “I” in its name is replaced with illustrations of individuals that represent the diversity of Pride supports and on the bank’s employees and clients

The goal was to build on last year’s “We Stand for Love” campaign and to personalize the message by putting team members front-and-centre in the work, says Joanna Milroy, senior director for sponsorship and community investment marketing at CIBC. “So this year we are speaking to both employees and our clients, letting them know that they are the ‘I’ in CIBC and that we celebrate what’s important together.”

The decision to incorporate the complete spectrum of colours as the background was to ensure the identity remained visually relatable to the event, says Steve Miller, who was named Fuse Marketing Group’s first executive creative director in March. “But by showing those individuals and a cross-section of those individuals, we tried to represent a really modern view of their clients and their employees.”

This month, 10 CIBC banking centres are featuring the grid designs while another 35 locations will be running posters and other in-branch decor, including an animated GIF on television screens. Assets are appearing near the UP Express station at Toronto’s Union Station and throughout UP Express trains, and the design will be used on the bank’s social platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Finally, the grid treatment has also been used on banners that will appear during various Pride parades throughout the country.

“We thought that if we just put a rainbow, which has been done in the past by CIBC, we felt like it was just surface-level commitment and surface-level messaging,” Miller says. “Absolutely, we show support this way. But we wanted to do something that felt deeper, because [the bank] felt deeper about the cause.”

Milroy says that while the concept was developed specifically for Pride, CIBC believes it could be extended across other employee-led and focused programs like International Women’s Day, Black History Month or the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.