BMO challenges virtual keepers

BMO Financial Group is allowing passersby at a downtown branch to play soccer with the kids in their ad campaign via a new interactive digital display in downtown Toronto.

BMO Financial Group is taking advantage of its prime location at King and Bay streets in Toronto with a new interactive digital feature installed in front of the branch.

Today, BMO, which launched a soccer-oriented summer campaign last month, will unveil a touch-screen display that invites users to play goal against the same children depicted in the BMO ad campaign. The game starts and the young digital players shoot towards the sidewalk, where the user actually dodges left and right to ‘block’ the shot. The ad creative was developed by Cossette, who also handles the brand’s media buying, and the screen’s technology was developed by Monster Media.

Using branches as one of the mediums to get the campaign out into the marketplace is a way of localizing the campaign to the branch and the community it’s in – plus, the foot traffic downtown doesn’t hurt, explains Sandy Bourne, VP, advertising, sponsorship, events and merchandising, BMO Financial Group.

‘Frankly, it is great real estate,’ says Bourne. ‘It’s a fun way of bringing attention to our campaign and it’s a fun way of profiling the kids who are playing soccer. The whole idea here is also that we support soccer from the grassroots level through to the elite teams and professional teams,’ Bourne tells MiC.

This afternoon, Toronto FC goalkeeper Stefan Frei will be the first to test his ability against Canada’s future soccer stars at the screen, which is mounted on a 28- by 22-foot deco.

‘This campaign has very much a large outdoor element to it,’ says Bourne, mentioning an impact billboard at Wellesley and Bay streets that incorporates two executions and a 3D soccer ball.

But the national soccer campaign, running through September, also spans print and online with ads in major daily newspapers and on web properties like, and While BMO supports thousands of teams year-round, this was the perfect time for the campaign because of the excitement of the World Cup, the fact that lots of consumers are outside playing soccer and the opportunity to target football-related news coverage.