This is because, throughout the developed world, banks are seen as big, long-established institutions that wear their history firmly on their sleeves. They also sell near-identical products that people buy infrequently. Then they make it worse by running ads that often seem to use the same layout template and stock photography.
Not an easy space at all.
We had all that to deal with as well as the fact that CIBC is the fifth-largest of the Big Five Canadian banks, with the fifth-largest budgets. So more than usually challenging, even for a bank.
Given all this, we knew that we had to create a truly distinctive campaign for the brand, something that would really stand out in such a crowded and competitive field. And one that would really bring to life the brand positioning of CIBC as the modern bank that truly puts its customers first.
Enter Percy the penguin and his family. Conceived originally for Aventura - CIBC’s travel points credit card - our charming flightless bird of a CIBC customer quickly captured the hearts of the Canadian public. In addition, we developed a unique style of illustration for all our non-TV media and assets that created more white space between us and our main competitors.
The result? CIBC advertising and brand tracking results have come back to life after years of stasis. Not bad for a bird and some drawings…