In the rings: RBC stands tall in a land of giants

With over 50 years of Olympic sponsorship behind it, the bank is shouting its athlete support loud and proud in the Vancouver skyline.

VANCOUVER — In a city filled with so many things larger than life, RBC’s record-breaking OOH stands out above the crowd.

The signature building wrap is the centrepiece of the bank’s consumer-facing media strategy for the Olympic Games. Standing 380 ft. high and 111 ft. wide, the 3M-made wrap is the first of its kind in Canada and is right now the largest of its type in the world, Chethan Lakshman, senior director, RBC corporate communications, tells MiC.

It’s unique because it consists of two applications, he explains. The wrap is a fusion of two materials: perforated window film for the glass sections of the building and a ‘rough surface and textured film’ for the concrete. It covers the entirety of the east-facing side of the main tower, and two additional smaller wraps cover the lower atrium. In total, the wrap covers 42,240 sq. ft. of the tower and 6,978 sq. ft. of the atrium. The creative on the tower wrap features an athlete and the phrase ‘We’re proud to support Team Canada,’ while the atrium features the same wording with a picture of animated spokesman Arbie.

‘We’re a landmark building here in Vancouver and that provided us with a great opportunity of building awareness,’ Jacqueline Ryan, director, Olympic marketing, RBC, tells MiC. ‘Because of the building itself, we focused our resources on using that as a branding element aligned with our strategy and telling people how proud we are to support Team Canada.’

The fact that there are crowds of people out on the street taking pictures at all hours speaks to the effectiveness of the media strategy.

‘It’s really fun for us to watch,’ Ryan says. ‘Normally, it’s rare for people to be taking a picture of our building!’

Making a big statement for the Games was important to the brand, but equally important in its media campaign was to reinforce the brand’s long-standing commitment to Canadian athletes and to the Olympic Games, she explains. Research done by the company indicated that consumers were more receptive to the brand’s sponsorship messaging when they knew the history of the relationship.

‘I would say that the most effective part of this campaign was the concerted effort we made to ensure that the creative strategy was consistent: communicating that we’re an enthusiastic sponsor of the Olympics since 1947. We’ve been there with the Canadian team and we have an authentic and genuine relationship with athletes.’

The wrap will remain in place through the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games and will be removed on March 31.