Simplii gets less transactional about banking

CIBC's digital brand responds to the changes in clients' financial habits by showing the positive outcomes of keeping things simple.
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The business challenges Simplii Financial is currently facing are closely linked to its customers’ challenges during this time.

“Our challenge is just to make sure we stay ahead of everything happening in our clients’ lives, and in the marketplace, to serve them well,” says Rob Assimakopoulos, SVP and CMO at CIBC (which owns Simplii). He describes the brand’s clientele as being primarily digital savvy, urban, and those who enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

He says during this pandemic, people have “dramatically” simplified their lives and streamlined how they deploy their money. “We try to help them simplify their lives by helping them bank more effectively and efficiently, and put solutions in front of them that help them save money at a time when they need to save it,” Assimakopoulos notes.

That is demonstrated in the bank’s latest campaign, “The Simple Things.”

It highlights a suite of products and services, such as no fee daily banking, paying no transfer fees, free unlimited Interac e-transfers, and its no-fee Global Money Transfer. While these are offerings Simplii has promoted since its launch in 2018, Assimakopoulos says a difference is that it takes Simplii out of a purely “transactional approach” to “actually showing the positive consequences on living a life simply.”

Juniper Park\TBWA was the agency tasked with the creative. A 15-second animated TV spot shows a couple streaming a band performance on their television, and a man receiving a set of keys, from his real estate agent, for his new home.

“[Our clients] want great rates. They want easy access to their money – because that is a big enabler of enjoying life’s simple pleasures,” Assimakopoulos says. “People should be able to enjoy their money, without too much effort to access it or to manage it. That’s why we exist, and again, at a time like this, [it’s] never been more important.”

Simplii’s products and services – being digital-based – free up time, he notes. “When you bank digitally, you eliminate travel time to physical spaces and you take that time and use it for things that you appreciate,” Assimakopoulos says. “Our goal is to not bog people down with too much choice, or too much friction. Our goal is to get people closer to their money.”

The financial landscape of Canadian households has been quite tenuous in recent months. A report published by The Bank of Canada in May raised concerns about household debt levels and the likelihood that they would increase and become severe for households whose income don’t fully recover from the economic ramifications of COVID-19. The report noted how the proportion of households “with debt-service payments” of more than 40% of their income (an indicator of household vulnerability) is “likely to rise.”

The digital and social elements of the campaign launched in March, with the TV spot debuting at the beginning of June. There are also OOH ads and online videos running through October.