Top Digital Advertising Channels for Canadian Banks in Q1 2023
- Brands in the competitive set spent the most on Paid Search ($24M), followed by Facebook ($23.6M) and YouTube ($13.7M). Display ($2.9M) saw the lowest ad spend allocation.
- Ad spend for Q4 decreased by -17% QoQ for the brands in the competitive set.
- With the exception of Facebook (+4% QoQ), all platforms experienced a decrease in ad spend in Q4 2022. YouTube's decrease was the greatest at -40% QoQ.
- Scotiabank and RBC were the only brands in the competitive set to increase their digital ad spend in Q4 of 2022.
- RBC was the only brand that did not see Paid Search advertising on its top 2 roster for the highest ad spends.
- TD had the highest budget amongst the competitive set, with an ad spend of $16.7M in Q4 2022.
- Many of the top Paid Search ads focused on convenience, such as the headlines promoting "online appointments" and "Open An Account in minutes," as well as incentives such as TD's $150 offer and BMO's $400 bonus.
- Facebook and YouTube ads saw commonalities in messaging focused on incentives such as RBC's AirPod Pro sign-up offer, BMO's “value100” offer, and Scotiabank's $1300 bonus value.
- In addition, TD, Scotiabank and CIBC ran YouTube and Facebook ads with messaging focused on providing customers with advice and direction, such as meeting with an advisor or offering free tools within their mobile apps.
How the Advertising Channel Scan™ Methodology Works
The following companies were included in the competitive set for this analysis:
From Q3 to Q4 2022, the competitive set spent $141.8M on digital advertising and decreased spend by -17% during Q4 2022.
Scotiabank and RBC were the only brands in the competitive set to increase their digital ad spend in Q4 2022. BMO, CIBC, and TD had significant decreases at -30%, -51%, and -22% QoQ, respectively.
With the exception of Facebook, all platforms experienced a decrease in ad spend from Q3 to Q4 2022. YouTube's decrease was the greatest at -40% QoQ, while Facebook's increase was stable at +4% QoQ.
In Q4 2022, Paid Search ($24M) saw the highest budget allocation across the competitive set, followed closely by Facebook ($23.6M). Facebook's share of the budget allocation increased to 37% in Q4 2022. While YouTube’s decreased to 21%.
From October 2022 to December 2022, TD had the largest budget amongst the competitive set at $16.7M. 39% of their budget went towards Paid Search ($6.6M), followed by Facebook at $5.6M (33%) and YouTube at $3.2M (19%).
TD budgeted $3.7M toward Desktop Paid Search (56%) compared to $2.9M on Mobile Paid Search (44%).
Paid Search Tactic
TD spent $6.6M on Paid Search from October 2022 to December 2022. November 2022 saw the highest ad spend of $2.5M.
- TD utilizes ad copy that emphasizes its online appointment options available through multiple branches for the keyword "TD near me."
High Intent Keywords:
- TD spent $483K on the "TD easy trade" keyword in Q4 2022, with a CPC of $138.8. However, this specific term is likely to drive organic clicks to TD's website, making it vital to monitor its CPC and evaluate potential ROI, especially for high-intent branded keywords like "TD easy trade."
On Facebook, TD budgeted $4.5M toward Link Post ads (69%) followed by Video Post ads at $1.8M and Carousel Post ads at $197K.
During Q4 2022, TD allocated $6.6M towards Facebook ads. The Facebook ad for the Starbucks Rewards program was sustained from the previous quarter, with an additional $344K invested in Q4, bringing the total investment to $1.6M. The ad ran from April to November 2022.
- As interest rates continue to increase, TD launched this ad, addressing how rising interest rates will impact the cost of borrowing, investment returns, and savings rates.
- In response to the increasing uncertainty among Canadians, TD created this ad, targeting those seeking ways to prepare for the future.
Spend: $155K | Imp.: 37M | CPM: $4.15
Spend: $104K | Imp.: 25M | CPM: $4.15
From October 2022 - December 2022, Scotiabank spent $15.6M in digital advertising.
Top digital advertising spends are focused on Facebook ($8.1M), followed by Paid Search ($5.0M) and YouTube ($1.9M).
On Facebook, Scotiabank budgeted $7.5M toward Link Post ads (92%) followed by Video Post ads at $325K.
Scotiabank spent $8.1M on Facebook from October 2022 - December 2022. This ad ran from August to November 2022, allocating a total of $313K at an average CPM of $4.19.
- The Scotiabank Passport Visa is giving up to $1,300 in bonus value, no foreign transaction fees, and 6 airport lounge passes as travel rebounds strongly in 2023.
Text Forward Visuals:
- Scotiabank's ad on the left employs bold and large text in the center-left of the image to draw the viewer's attention. The bright font colour also highlights “$1,300”, making it stand out to the viewer.
Spend: $584K | Imp.: 140M | CPM: $4.16
Spend: $251K | Imp.:60M | CPM: $4.15
Scotiabank budgeted $3.1M toward Desktop Paid Search (63%) compared to $1.9M on Mobile Paid Search (37%).
Paid Search Tactics
Scotiabank spent $5.0M on Paid Search from October 2022 - December 2022. December 2022 saw the highest ad spend of $1.8M.
- In December 2022, Scotiabank allocated $42.1K to the keyword “pc mastercard”, and $32.6K on “canadian tire mastercard”, averaging a CPC of $13.66 and $7.41, respectively.
- In the bottom ad, Scotiabank highlights its options and emphasizes finding the best fit based on the viewer's lifestyle.
From October 2022 - December 2022, RBC spent $15M on digital advertising. 42% of their budget went towards Facebook ($6.3M), followed by YouTube at $4.8M (32%). RBC was the only brand that spent less than a third of its budget on Paid Search.
On Facebook, RBC budgeted $4.3M toward Link Post ads (68%) followed by Video Post ads at $2.0M (32%).
RBC spent $6.3M on Facebook from October 2022 - December 2022. RBC was the only brand in the competitive set which had video ads for their top creatives on Facebook.
Free Gift Showcase:
- This ad, RBC promoted its AirPod Pro sign-up incentive for new clients. The offer ran from November 1st to January 31st, 2022.
Split with Friends:
- This ad, RBC highlights the "Split with Friends" feature in its mobile app, emphasizing its ability to divide expenses and send payment requests."
Short & Sweet:
- Both video ads were just 6 seconds long, delivering their message quickly to the viewer.
Spend: $518K | Imp.: 125M | CPM: $4.16
Spend: $137K | Imp.: 33M | CPM: $4.16
RBC budgeted $2.7M toward 15 second video ads on YouTube (57%) followed by $1.4M on 6 second ads (30%).
RBC spent $4.8M on YouTube from October 2022 - December 2022.
Lead with Offer:
- This ad starts with an emphasis on the incentive, featuring it as the main focus. This is conveyed through clear text on screen, narration, and a visual of the AirPods Pro. The video then proceeds with a comedic portrayal of someone using their AirPods.
- RBC's student offer promotes a $75 bonus and the option to donate another $75 to a charity of the student's choice. This purposeful incentive aims to attract Gen Z, known for supporting companies with a positive impact. It also gives the student control over which charity to support.
Spend: $474K | Imp.: 36M | CPM: $13.21
Spend: $441K | Imp.: 33M | CPM: $13.21
From October 2022 - December 2022, BMO spent $9.1M in digital advertising. 67% of their budget went towards Paid Search ($6.0M), followed by Facebook at $1.4M and YouTube at $1.2M.
BMO budgeted $3.1M toward Desktop Paid Search (52%) compared to $2.9M on Mobile Paid Search (48%).
Paid Search Tactics
BMO spent $6.0M on Paid Search from October 2022 - December 2022. December 2022 saw the highest ad spend of $2.2M.
- In December 2022, BMO directed 85% of its search budget toward keywords featuring "bmo." Bidding on branded keywords provides increased visibility, improved brand recognition, and lower CPC due to higher relevance scores.
- BMO's messaging, "Open An Account in minutes," addresses viewer concerns about the time and effort required to sign up, rebutting any hesitation.
On Facebook, BMO budgeted $1.3M toward Link Post ads (92%) followed by Video Post ads at $114K (8%).
BMO spent $1.4M on Facebook from October 2022 - December 2022.
Use of Exclusive Phrasing:
- The language in both BMO ads makes the offer seem superior with phrases like "we've unpacked a great offer!" and "You read that right."
- Lamorne Morris became BMO’s spokesperson in 2019. His repeated appearance in BMO's ads helps to establish trust and credibility, giving a human touch to the brand, making BMO's ads stand out from competitors, and boosting brand recall.
Spend: $102K | Imp.: 24M | CPM: $4.16
Spend: $88K | Imp.: 21M | CPM: $4.16
From October 2022 to December 2022, CIBC spent $7.9M in digital advertising, a -51% decrease from Q3 2022. 35% of their budget went towards Paid Search ($2.8M) and 34% went towards YouTube ($2.7M), followed by Facebook at $2.2M (28%).
CIBC budgeted $1.7M toward Desktop Paid Search (61%) compared to $1.1M on Mobile Paid Search (39%).
Paid Search Tactics
CIBC spent $2.8M on Paid Search from October 2022 to December 2022. November 2022 saw the highest ad spend of $1.1M.
- During October 2022, the most popular keyword for CIBC was "Remitly", and in November 2022 it was "Western Union". These branded keywords were able to attract clicks at a low CPC, $1.23 and $1.57, respectively.
Incentives & Offers:
- CIBC invested heavily in search ads promoting their sign-up incentives for the CIBC Smart™ Account, including three months of fee-free banking, a $400 sign-up bonus, and a $100 e-gift card.
On YouTube, CIBC budgeted $1.7M toward ads 15 seconds in length (64%) and $952K for 6 second ads.
CIBC spent $2.7M on YouTube from October 2022 - December 2022.
- The CIBC Smart™ Everyday Banking ad shown below ran from May to November 2022, with a budget of $728K for six months and received 2.3 million views on YouTube.
- In this ad, CIBC touches an emotional chord by depicting parents' desire to give their baby the best and still travel — creating an emotional bond with viewers.
- This ad shows the actor using their app — giving viewers a visual representation of how customers can use it. Additionally, they use a faded red background to help draw attention to the phone.
Spend: $287K | Imp.: 22M | CPM: $13.21
Spend: $467K | Imp.: 35M | CPM: $13.21
Ad spend includes Facebook, Display, Search, & YouTube.
Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting.
Digital Ad Spend in Canada (USD)
Example paid search ads shown are based on Nov. ‘22 desktop search traffic & spend.
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