Vancity wants to help small business stay open

The first campaign from new AOR Taxi focuses on how the credit union is making the road to recovery less rocky.

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Taxi has launched its first mass campaign with Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, putting the focus on how it is helping small businesses not just open back up, but stay open.

Taxi’s Vancouver office won the AOR assignment for the financial co-operative – more commonly referred to and branded as Vancity – after a competitive pitch process in March. Vancity previously worked with Wasserman + Partners, which it first selected as its agency in 2010.

Taxi’s first projects with Vancity have been focused on helping support Vancity’s members throughout the pandemic.

A new campaign that launched on June 29 is the latest to celebrate small businesses, with a focus on how the credit union has been helping its small business members. The TV spot, entitled “The Street,” uses miniature models and stop-motion animation to bring shops back to life. “Closed” signs turn over to “open,” lights flick back on, and the city street becomes busy with activity again.

“Vancity wanted to ensure that their members and the people of BC were opening their minds to a whole new way of doing business in order to support each other and keep our economy strong,” says James Sadler, executive creative director at Taxi in Vancouver. “Vancity was innovative in how they supported SMBs in order to not only survive but thrive throughout this pandemic. This is integral to Vancity’s brand as they believe in helping real people in the real economy in very tangible ways.”

As a result of the pandemic, Vancity introduced several new initiatives and products to “open the door to a more secure future,” the company states on its website, which are driven to in the campaign.

The initiatives include loans for businesses that need to pivot due to the pandemic, helping self-employed people address their income gap and rent, a virtual health care plan for small businesses and offering 0% interest and payment deferrals temporarily on business credit cards and payment deferrals for up to six months to eligible cardholders. It has also partnered with the Women’s Enterprise Centre in a program targeted at supporting women entrepreneurs with business support and funding.

In mid-May, the City of Vancouver reported that 90,000 jobs had been lost throughout the coastal city, which accounted for 22% of its workforce. At that time, business revenue had fallen by $27 billion, and approximately 13,400 businesses had closed. The city also projected a revenue shortfall of $310 million for this year.

“The Street” will run for six weeks, supported by a social, digital and radio campaign.