ING Direct asks: what is value?

A new downtown location acts as an invite for passersby to go online and nominate local businesses who offer great value - Toronto's Ms. Lube and Curbside Cycle are featured thus far.


‘Branch’ is a dirty word for ING Direct, a bank that offers savings accounts over the phone and internet across Canada. However, a new flagship location opening in downtown Toronto at Yonge and Shuter streets is going to serve as a ‘savings café’ for customers who want to meet with ING Direct staff taking care of their money. To celebrate the opening, set for later this year, ING Direct has wrapped the location in posters that ask passersby what ‘value’ means to them, and to nominate the businesses they think provide that value on the promotional microsite.

Torontonians can nominate their favourite small business at, or by tweeting to the hashtag #whatisvalue. Excerpts from the conversation will be temporarily displayed on the windows of the new building, the lease for which was just signed about two weeks ago, says Peter Aceto, president & CEO at ING Direct Canada. A few examples of local businesses that the company feels are a ‘saver’s friend’ are already featured, including Curbside Cycle, Ms. Lube and Freshbooks.

‘It’s a question Canadians should really think about and consider in their financial life – about openness, honesty and transparency, about feeling empowered to make these decisions,’ Aceto tells MiC of the campaign, handled by GWP Brand Engineering of Toronto with Dashboard Communications, who developed the website.

Combining a physical location with virtual interaction is about reaching out to the local community, not necessarily about courting local businesses, explains Aceto.

‘It’s really more about what we think, how we can use a physical location in downtown Toronto to help ourselves, help Canadians and help local business,’ he says.

This article was updated at 2:30 p.m. May 19 to clarify that ING Direct services are available in all provinces and territories across Canada.