TD to soothe jazz fans at Montreal Festival

In its first year as presenting sponsor, TD Canada Trust will build an outdoor oasis for attendees of the Montreal International Jazz Festival, providing restful goodies while promoting its convenience-banking brand message.

TD Canada Trust sponsors jazz festivals across the country in cities like Ottawa and Vancouver, but the Montreal International Jazz Festival, which attracts more than 2 million people over the course of 10 days, is the ‘crown jewel’ in the genre, says John Ratoff, VP, North American corporate sponsorships at TD Financial Group.

‘We like to say ‘banking can be this comfortable’ and we think that the festivals create a really comfortable environment for everybody who attends them and we try to reinforce that positioning through things like the TD Comfort Place,’ Ratoff tells MiC in a phone interview from Portland, Maine, where TD’s marketing team is based.

The Comfort Place will be a pavilion in a city garden close to Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts, with beverages served and resting areas available to all festival-goers, while the Friends of the Festival Tent will save TD’s iconic green chairs, free baby strollers, sunscreen and water for ‘Friends of the Festival’ cardholders.

While the bank has been involved with Montreal’s Jazz Festival for several years, this is the first year it is a co-presenting sponsor (the other is Bell), which means its logo is present on all the festival’s promotions and media outreach, says Ratoff. The placement was arranged by Armstrong Partnership LP. Last year’s presenting sponsor – not returning this year – was GM.

‘The whole idea is that we’ll make it a better experience. Rather than forcing our brand on people, we want to invite them to be part of our brand in ways that are meaningful to them,’ says Ratoff.

The other opportunity the festival provides for the brand is to promote the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, which will provide parking for about 300 bikes near the Festival perimeter.

‘The Montreal Jazz Festival is a carbon-neutral event and so it ties in beautifully with our environmental initiatives as a bank,’ Ratoff says.

Bell announced yesterday it will provide a series of festival smartphone apps for festivals-goers to access scheduling and venue information, and it will also provide Apple iPad kiosks where consumers can access Bell’s exclusive footage on