Vancity takes on the housing system

The credit union is blunt about what's causing unaffordability in its latest effort to make its members part of a solution.


Vancity is doubling down on its “Financial Force for Change” platform with a new campaign that’s all about housing affordability.

The new work from the credit union, which was developed with Taxi Vancouver, centres on a 50-second, animated spot that follows a Vancity member while she learns about housing affordability issues and how the credit union aims to be part of the solution.

The ad takes a much more direct approach than other financial institutions take to talking about housing, referencing renovictions, lease terms that favour landlords over tenants and people who buy up homes they are treating as an investments, instead of “foundations to build our lives.”

It’s another reflection of the brand’s “Financial Force for Change” positioning, which launched last year with a look at how finance intersects with the efforts to fight climate change. Like this campaign, it positions the credit union’s members as being part of a movement to change some of the most pressing social issues today.

The campaign plays to one of the key struggles identified by Vancity members today, according to Gurpreet Jhaj, VP of marketing at the credit union. Almost one third of the credit union’s members say affordable housing is one of the biggest issues facing them. That is why the spot shifts between two different styles of animation to hammer home its two core messages about how the housing affordability crisis feels for people living in B.C., and what Vancity – and consequently, its members – are doing to address the crisis.

“We wanted to find an interesting visual metaphor for the experience of trying to find a space to live in B.C.,” says James Sadler, ECD for Taxi Vancouver. “It feels like we’ve been living with unrealistic levels of housing affordability for too long. Our animation matches that.”

“The housing market is influenced by many factors, but we’ve learned that by acting on our values there are many ways Vancity can make a real difference for people,” adds Jhaj. “Whether it’s supporting affordable housing development at our branch sites; providing grants, loans and advice to non-profits; or helping our members make their homes more efficient and comfortable, we’re showing that just by banking with Vancity, you can be part of a movement committed to making life more affordable for more people.”

The video is running on social, OLV and YouTube. It was animated by Polyester and features original music by Vapor Music. OpenMind handled the media buy.