Why BMO is launching a Twitch channel

BMO NXT LVL is a long-term commitment to bring fun financial advice to the growing platform.

BMO’s new Twitch channel is not merely for advertising, the brand says, but a long-term investment in engaging with people of all ages on the increasingly popular platform.

Called NXT LVL, BMO’s platform will educate and inform gamers about personal finances through live gaming. To put its money where it’s mouth is, the financial institution has found a new job for one of its own, personal banker Sean Frame. He is now the bank’s gaming relations specialist (GRS), a position that 50 employees were vying for and what many people would probably consider a dream job.

Maja Neable, CMO for banking and chief data and analytics officer for marketing at BMO, says that while gaming is the core of Twitch’s content, it’s also a place “where lots of life happens” between fans, friends and personalities. Overall, it’s a new space to engage with consumers, one the bank can use to helping people with their ambitions of making financial progress.

“There’s a conception maybe, that financial literacy or financial topics are taboo or very serious,” Neable says. “We see it differently, and are engaging with customers in the way that they want.”

The idea for BMO NXT LVL was conceived in partnership with BMO’s creative and media agency partners, FCB Toronto and UM. To support the launch, FCB Toronto has created a series of teasers and videos that began running across social media channels on Monday, all of which carry a theme of mixing fun with very practical expert advice. One features a zooms in on a C-Suite door, which reveals the awesome job title and with the sounds of gaming coming from behind it.

Twitch offers a “huge global audience” to engage with in a personalized way, Neable says, allowing it reach groups ranging from youth just starting their financial journeys to new Canadians to families.

“People that are not in this space think it’s teenagers or young adults in their mom’s basement playing games until midnight, but we know that’s not the case,” Neable says.

The platform will include live-streamed episodes featuring Frame playing games with some games with famous Twitch influencers and will include moments of financial education specifically targeted at gamers. For example, the first stream this Friday will feature a discussion about changing career paths (specifically, becoming a pro gamer) with streamer Wardell, followed by a live gaming stream of Valorant.

In addition to weekly episodes on topics also including home ownership and investing, the first season of NXT LVL will feature content like a dynamic AR tour of the GRS’ office and social media contests. Neable says that the next level of programming extends across other social platforms, namely TikTok, which will feature shorter videos clipped from its Twitch streams.

When it comes to the May launch, Neable says it doesn’t see big financial topics as something to be broached once a year around tax time. She adds that the bank isn’t thinking about this as one campaign: as it thinks about getting into the space, it’s leaning into its “test and learn” culture.




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