TD’s history of giving thanks gives it a leg up

In a time when gratitude-focused ads have become ubiquitous, the bank's CMO believes its track record helps it stand out.


TD has adapted its long-running “#TDThanksYou” program to solely focus on recognizing unsung heroes who demonstrated courage and resilience by helping others during the pandemic, including for the first time, one of its own.

Those people include a Sault Ste Marie restaurateur who fed at-risk youth during the pandemic – and who the bank rewarded by building an outdoor seating area to help her to safely serve paying customers.

It also features the story of Mike and Bev Carter, who own the only grocery store in Milverton, Ontario. When Bev tested positive for COVID-19 and needed to isolate, Mike moved into a trailer behind their store so they could continue to provide an essential service to their town, an effort the bank rewarded with a paid vacation.

And a TD staffer who raised $16,000 in charitable donations by sewing masks with her Calgary neighbours was gifted new sewing machines.

Thanking customers and people in the community has been a prominent part of the bank’s marketing since 2014, when it turned ATMs into “automated thanking machines” that spit out gifts instead of cash to deserving clients.

“We felt it was our obligation to celebrate the amazing selfless things our customers, colleagues and small businesses are doing in the community,” says Theresa McLaughlin, global chief marketing, citizenship and customer experience officer at TD, adding that its previous “thank you” videos are still racking up views online, reflecting heightened demand for positive stories that cut through the doom and gloom.

The campaign overall, ties back to TD’s purpose-driven approach, McLaughlin says, adding that people will remember how companies treated their employees and stood by them during tough times. She says during a time when gratitude-focused marketing has become ubiquitous, the fact that TD has been thanking communities and customers for years, gives the bank credibility.

Longstanding agency partner Diamond worked in collaboration with Agency 361 (TD’s internal agency) on the program.