RBC maps a retirement plan with the Globe

The G&M comes out with a retirement-focused product and RBC launches a national campaign targeting the same demo.

Can a “retirement designer” double as marriage counselor?

At Royal Bank of Canada so-called retirement designers offer a two-in-one service as they prepare the retirement-ready for their future plans. Or at least that’s the gist of a new 10-minute campaign video launched this week that has RBC financial planner Bill Hill walking a couple through realistic future options.

The video “webisode” is part of the bank’s larger retirement campaign that debuted last week on Globe Retirement, a recently launched Globe and Mail weekly print and online product. RBC joined the new product as an exclusive partner for its first three months. Globe Retirement is issued every Thursday, with content focused on retirement-related issues.

While Canada is younger than most G7 countries, its baby boomer population is on the rise. According to StatsCan, the number of Canadians in the 65+ demo overtook the number of Canadians aged 0 to 14 for the first time in Canadian history. The government body estimates that 16.1% (5.78 million) of the population was at least 65 years old on July 1 of this year. That number is expected to grow to 20.1% of the population by 2024. According to the 2011 census, the 55+ national population was over nine million.

Which makes for a fitting partnership between the Globe, which says it has a 50+ age readership of over 1.7 million and RBC, which caters to that demo with an assortment of financial services and tools.

The partnership with RBC comes just as a new industry body for the newspaper and magazine industry provides single-source data on the industry. Vividata’s first report shows the Globe and Mail as a national leader with a combined average issue print and digital readership of 2.5 million between Monday and Friday, according to the Vividata study. For print alone the paper has 1 million readers, and an average digital replica audience of 1.8 million.

“This new series sends a message to the rest of the banking and finance community to look at the context in which you’re placing your ads,” says Phillip Crawley, publisher and CEO of the Globe and Mail.

Creative for the campaign was handled by MacLaren McCann and media by M2 Universal.  

In addition to the partnership with the Globe, that campaign includes TV spots on CTV News as well as on specialty channels like Food Network and on HGTV where Alan Depencier, VP, marketing at RBC, feels the reality-TV type webisode concept would match the channel’s style. The campaign, however, is largely online with the national buy extending across Google, YouTube and Facebook to drive reach and video views. Programmatic tactics are being used to ensure appropriate targeting and efficiency through banner, big box and skyscraper units. The campaign also includes 15- and 30-second video spots. All creative click through to www.retirementdesigners.ca.

In the video mentioned above, soon-to-retire couple Ron and Gillian are at odds over their vision for the ideal post-retirement life. RBC’s retirement designer, Bill Hill opens the couple’s eyes to the daily reality in their imagined post-retirement lives: Gillian has to clean out and move heavy wine casks while Bill is made to mow a cottage property’s spacious lawn. Eventually,  the couple re-evaluates their dreams and arrives at a doable post-retirement plan: staying in their own home, being close to family with many a planned vacation.

For Depencier, the three-month exclusive partnership with the Globe made sense because of the legacy media’s print and web audience in its targeted demo.

That partnership is one part of RBC’s larger strategy for a national campaign to build awareness around its retirement planning services based on in-house research indicating that Canadian boomers are not adequately prepared for the retirement stage of their lives. According to this research, 48% of Canadian boomers have not begun planning for retirement and are not engaged in qualitative conversations with their partners, says Depencier.

The campaign aimed at taking an “innovative approach to get folks to have a different kind of conversation around retirement” with the webisode designed to engage Canadian boomers with the subject. A more specific goal was to get boomers to the RBC website (which offers interactive tools) or to a branch and connect them with an adviser like Bill Hill (though no more trips to wine or cottage country are on offer).