BHLA to ‘refine’ Simplii’s brand as new AOR

A new platform will be targeted at helping the direct banking brand break through the clutter.

Simplii Financial has named Broken Heart Love Affair (BHLA) its new agency of record following an RFQ process.

In its new role, BHLA will “provide strong strategic framing with the dynamic creative platform that we need to break through clutter and really resonate with Canadians,” says Tammy Sadinsky, SVP of brand and marketing at CIBC, which owns Simplii. BHLA sister agency Lifelong Crush will also be providing support on its Simplii work.

The agency assumes the role from previous AOR Juniper Park/TBWA, which also participated in the RFQ, Sadinsky says. Juniper Park\TBWA continues to handle work for CIBC – having just launched a major new brand platform together – and while the two brands have always been distinct, Sadinsky says they are “now even more so.”

Simplii currently has just under 1.8 million clients, only slightly behind Scotiabank’s digital-only brand Tangerine, which has over 2 million customers. However, that number is roughly in line with the number of clients who were transferred over from President’s Choice Financial when CIBC ended its partnership with Loblaw to create Simplii in 2017. The new agency assignment, and resulting marketing efforts, are targeted at helping the brand find a more meaningful place with Canadians.

“One of [BHLA's] key mandates is to really refine our brand, help grow awareness and establish Simplii in consumers’ minds as a modern, easy-to-use and full-service banking solution for clients who are digitally savvy and looking to streamline their banking experience,” Sadinsky explains.

BHLA and Simplii have not set a timeline for the agency’s work to hit market, but the agency is “staying close to the senior team at Simplii and getting our hands in there in terms of working on strategy for them,” says Carlos Moreno, partner and CCO at BHLA.

“We’re taking in all of the energy from all of the lines of business right now and getting to know everyone,” he says.

“This is a very important strategic partnership for Simplii, so we’re doing the right onboarding and immersion,” adds Sadinsky.

Moreno could not disclose the size of the new account, nor whether the agency will be adding new staff to service it. The agency also won new work with Go RVing Canada last week, and has gotten assignments from Kruger, MadeGood, the Royal Ontario Museum and Internova over the last 12 months.