Scotiabank puts big media behind its Momentum

The bank's newest cash-back credit card gets the support of a highly targeted media buy to help it stand out from the crowded rewards-card marketplace.

Scotiabank is no stranger to big media buys, but in the competitive rewards-card marketplace, the FI is pursuing an extra-targeted strategy to stand out in the crowd.

The campaign, with media by PHD and creative by Bensimon Byrne (both of Toronto), supports the Scotiabank Momentum Visa card, which offers consumers 2% cash back on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases. Although the TV spots started appearing last week, the majority of the media buy debuts today, including print, OOH, radio and online.

The goal behind the campaign was to drive home the main difference between the Momentum card and other banks’ travel rewards cards, Victoria Cromie, account manager, PHD, tells MiC. The media strategy then focused on consistently linking the three pillars of the Momentum retail rewards – gas, grocery and drugstore – to the media.

The 13-week TV strategy uses a mix of 30-second spots and 10-second brand sponsorship ‘billboards’ on specialty channels such as HGTV, Food Network and W Network. The billboards are linked to shows in which the appropriate retail destination was featured in some way, for instance, a show about shopping will be followed by a closed-caption billboard proclaiming the cash rewards on those purchases.

The OOH buy, similarly, uses 10 x 20 billboards located strategically next to drugstores, gas stations and Loblaw grocery stores, as well as five Astral digi-boards in Toronto and Vancouver. It also includes an inventory takeover of the digi-boards on the south tower at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto, visible to the cameras at Citytv across the square, and a domination of the Union Station platform beside the Air Canada Centre.

In print, PHD pursued an interactive strategy with Metro newspapers in major markets across Canada. The promotion involves a contest in which readers are directed to search for retail-specific icons (gas, etc.) throughout the newspaper and online for the chance to win a $10,000 prize. The five-week contest will also offer a weekly $2,000 prize to keep people engaged through its duration, Cromie explains. The buy also includes brand ads for 14 weeks.

The print buy will be complemented with a national magazine buy in an equal balance of male-female targeted magazines such as Food and Drink, Chatelaine and Canadian Business, as well as an online buy through specialty sites and major portals, with placement on pages in which the editorial complements the rewards themes. A direct mail campaign through regional and national newspapers will also be executed.

In each element of the media strategy, the goal was to consistently reinforce the everyday convenience of the everyday-items rewards, Scott Dane, planning assistant, PHD, tells MiC.

‘I think most banks really focus on the travel cards,’ he says. ‘Although we do have a travel card, the Momentum Visa is the pride and joy of Scotiabank. We really want to let people know about the great cash back on the everyday items, which no one else can really compete with. So we really highlight those items and bring them to the forefront.’

The campaign runs March through August, with the majority of the media buy in March through May.