Scotiabank and PHD pick Pictela

The AOL-owned platform will power the latest leg of Scotiabank's 'Let the Saving Begin' campaign.

With its multi-phase ‘Let the Saving Begin’ campaign, Scotiabank has become increasingly adventurous with its digital strategy.

Last month, it held a live streaming event across the internet featuring broadcast celeb Valerie Pringle and a panel of mortgage experts. This month, it’s upping its game again with an AOL-focused strategy using the mediaco’s latest acquisition, the Pictela content platform.

The Pictela-powered ad unit is an expandable video unit that will house the entirety of a Scotiabank series of mortgage and lending-focused videos, Daryl Stansfield, digital account director, PHD Canada, tells MiC.

It its static form, the video sits in a traditional big-box or banner ad unit, but when activated, expands to the entirety of the computer screen. Within the box, alongside the video player, is a menu in which users can also choose to view any of the other videos within the series, without leaving the ad unit.

‘What we’ve found, historically, is that if you’re able to keep the user within the environment, you’ll see higher engagement levels, and more time spent with the actual assets,’ says Stansfield.

‘[So that means] that’s two objectives that Scotiabank is able to meet with this type of execution. One is they’re able to work on their objective of having consumers view all of the videos, and two, what we’ve seen is that more people will watch the video if it’s in that type of environment versus [making them click away to] or or the YouTube channel to watch the video.’

The media plan is not yet finalized, but the ad units will likely be featured on the news and finance channels, Stansfield explains. They may also be featured on other lifestyle channels as well.

The FI’s new focus on online video ties in with the mortgages and lending in this phase of ‘Let the Saving Begin,’ Stansfield explains. The subject matter can be complex and challenging for some people and videos allow Scotiabank to share information in a more entertaining, and engaging, way.

‘They’re finding viewers are actually watching the content and viewing it in its entirety,’ he says.

Pictela was acquired by AOL in December. This week, the US IAB named Pictela one of six ‘Rising Stars’ in the online ad game.