RBC’s future-focused Canada 150 program

The bank is giving youth $150 and using what they do with the money to fuel a social media-heavy national birthday campaign.

Rather than looking back, RBC is launching a Canada 150 initiative that focuses on the future of the country.

The financial company is giving out $150 to thousands of Canadians between the ages of 16 and 25, and the only catch is asking them to use the money to do something that will better their communities.

RBC has also asked the recipients to share what they do with the money back with the bank, which will then use the stories as content for its social, digital, TV and print #Make150Count spots. The $150 began going out to Canadians over the summer, and will continue to be sent out through until early 2017. Stories online now include Christiana, from Halifax, who used her $150 to buy supplies to paint a mural at a community garden.

Media in the campaign is from M2, creative from Grip and PR from Weber Shandwick. Matt McGlynn senior director, brand marketing, RBC, said the future-focused campaign is about connecting with the next generation of Canadians.

“The biggest thing is this is a social movement, empowering people to be great. Trusting them, especially younger people, to do the right thing,” he said.

Targeting younger Canadians, the campaign will have a focus on paid social media posts. Spots will have a longer time in market than most paid promotions, running from November of this year through to July 2017. The November launch is aimed at getting out ahead of the clutter expected in Canada for its 150th birthday celebrations. Digital spots will be updated through the program, with TV commercials updated for a wrap spot next June.

The campaign is similar to work done by TD in 2015, where the financial company gave 24 people across North America $30,000 to infuse back into their communities. The actions, which included things like buying instruments for a school music program, creating LGBT-safe spaces and launching community transportation programs, were highlighted in a set of YouTube videos.

To kick-off the #Make150Count program, RBC used some 300,000 Post-it Notes to create large portraits of some of the Canadians who have already used their $150. The images are on the windows of RBC’s head offices in Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver. A release on the launch of the campaign makes mention that the Post-it Notes will be reused in RBC’s offices once the portraits are down in order to decrease waste.