8 Ways Banks are Promoting Mortgages in a Period of Increased Interest Rates

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August 12, 2022
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

As interest rates rise in Canada, the following are eight key ways banks in the competitive set are promoting their home financing products:

  1. Life Happens: Ads highlight how unplanned life events or accidents can occur and how flexible mortgages allow customers to skip payments during these unexpected instances.
  2. Cashback Incentive: Banks offer up to $5K cashback for new mortgage customers or those who switch their mortgage over by the specified date. Of the competitive set, CIBC is the only bank with an incentive for mortgages between $100K to $150K, Servus offers the best incentive for mortgages between $150K to $749K and Tangerine for those $750K+. Compared to 2021, cashback incentives have increased for larger mortgages while decreasing for those on the lower end. 
  3. Easy Pre-Approval: Ads focus on the ease of getting pre-approved within minutes online or at a branch.
  4. Affordability: Ads emphasize the importance of knowing what you can genuinely afford when purchasing a home and drive viewers to mortgage tools and calculators. 
  5. Special Rates: Ads promote special mortgage rates offered on home financing products. 
  6. Get Advice: Ads encourage the viewer to book an appointment with a mortgage advisor to answer questions about home financing.
  7. Switch Fee Waiver: RBC and BMO offer $1100, while Scotia provides $1200 to customers switching their mortgage to cover the mortgage/HRLC fee. 
  8. Rate Guarantees: RBC, TD, and Tangerine offer a 120-day rate hold, while BMO is offers 130-days — which they promote as the “longest rate guarantee out of any major Canadian bank”.

The following companies were included in the competitive set for this analysis:

As of August 2022, the following banks are promoting these rates as special offers*:

*Rates promoted as “Special Offers” on  each respective bank’s websites. Rates as of August 3rd, 2022.

As of August 2022, banks in the competitive set are offering the following cashback incentives:

*As of August 2022.

For mortgages between $100K to $150K, CIBC is the only bank with a cashback incentive: 

*As of August 2022.

For mortgages between $150K to $749K, Servus offers the best cashback incentives: 

*As of August 2022.

For mortgages between $750K+, Tangerine offers the greatest incentive at $5K.

*As of August 2022.

Compared to August 2021, RBC and TD increased its cashback incentives for mortgages of $1M+ by $500, while Tangerine increased its incentives for all mortgages over $350K. 

RBC decreased its incentives for mortgages under $999K and TD did for those under $750K. RBC omitted its incentive for mortgages $100K-$299K and Tangerine did for those $250K-$349K

CIBC’s cashback incentive is the same as it’s offer in August 2021. This is the first time Servus has ran a cashback incentive for its mortgages.  

Additionally, some are promoting a Mortgage/HRLC Fee Waiver Incentive and/or a Mortgage Rate Guarantee: 

*As of August 2022.

The brands in the competitive set increased their total ad spend on their Summer House Financing campaign ads by +201% between Summer 2021 and Summer 2022. In 2022, Summer House Financing ads ran predominantly on Facebook which made up 47% of the total ad spend. 

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting. (USD Dollars) 
May - July. Includes only ad which feature home financing products. Paid search not included.

TD, CIBC, Scotiabank and Servus all increased their ad spend on their 2022 Summer House Financing campaigns relative to 2021. Meanwhile, RBC, BMO, and Tangerine decreased their spending.

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting. (USD Dollars) 
May - July. Includes only ad which feature home financing products. Paid search not included. 

The following eight themes appear in the competitive set's 2022 Summer House Financing ad campaigns. “Life Happens” ads making up nearly half of the total ad spend (49%). 

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting. Paid search ads not included.

2022 Summer Home Financing Campaigns:

Life Happens

Ads highlight how unplanned life events or accidents can occur and how flexible mortgages allow customers to skip payments during these unexpected instances.

  1. Humour: In TD’s video ad, a man flies his drone into his neighbour’s house. The ad is meant to be lighthearted and funny.
  2. Relatable: Scotiabank’s campaign focuses on relatable life milestones such as having a second child or renovating your home.
  3. Video: TD and Scotiabank both use video ads to tell stories about how their flexible mortgage options can help benefit people when "life happens". 

Spend: $500K | Total Impressions: 38M | CPM: $13.22

Spend: $208K | Total Impressions: 16M | CPM: $13.22

Cashback Incentive

Cash incentives offered to people getting a new mortgage or switching over their existing mortgage over. 

  1. Profit Sharing: Servus offers mortgage clients a cashback incentive and additional yearly profit sharing. 
  2. Organic Looking:  TD's ad uses on-screen text that looks native to Facebook and Instagram, tricking viewers into thinking it's an organic post and not an ad, thus increasing views and clicks.
  3. Celeb Partnership: TD’s partnered with Canadian actor and television personality, Todd Talbot who is best known for his work on Love It or List It as a real estate agent. 

Spend: $174K | Impressions: 35M | CPM: $4.92

Spend: $72K |Impressions: 15M | CPM: $4.92 

Easy Pre-Approval

Focus on the ease of getting pre-approved within minutes online or at a branch.

  1. Speed:  RBC focuses on how quick  its prequalification service is by stating that customers can get prequalified for a mortgage in just “60 seconds”.
  2. Exclusivity: TD creates a sense of exclusivity with its ad copy by positioning the ad as an invitation and a “special message” for home buyers.

Spend: $30K | Impressions: 6M | CPM: $4.92

Spend: $108K | Impressions: 22M | CPM: $4.84

Affordability

Ads emphasize the importance of knowing what you can genuinely afford when purchasing a home and drive viewers to mortgage tools and calculators. 

  1. Confidence:  RBC’s ad sets use the word “certain” to build confidence and position itself as a reliable and trustworthy source for home buyers.
  2. Affordability: With interest rates rising, many Canadians feel unsure about purchasing and what they can afford. Ads focus on guiding potential home buyers with calculators, tools and resources to help buyers make informed decisions. 
Spend: $21K |Impressions: 8M | CPM: $2.56 | Click to View
Spend: $1.2K |Impressions: 256K | CPM: $4.69 | Click to View
Spend: $15KImpressions: 2.5MCPM: $6.24Click to View

Special Rates

Ads promote the special mortgage rates that they are offering on home financing products. 

  1. Bargain Rates: Both Servus, TD and BMO position these mortgage rates as either “great” or “special”, giving the impression that customers are getting a great deal on their mortgages.
  2. Mortgage Type: BMO focused it’s summer house financing campaign with a special 3-Year Fixed Rate Closed Term mortgage and a 5-Year Variable Rate Closed Term mortgage. 
  3. Ad Longevity: To help keep the ad relevant for longer, the special rates are not stated on the ad copy or on the ad creative. 

Spend: $16K | Impressions: 3.7M | CPM: $4.40

Spend: $1.6K | Impressions: 365K | CPM: $4.39

Get Advice

Ads encourage the viewer to book an appointment with a mortgage advisor to answer questions about home financing.

  1. Personalize: Keywords/phrases such as “tailored” and “right for you” emphasize a focus on providing a personalized experience
  2. Call-to-Action: Ads use strong CTAs such as book now to drive clicks and appointments.
  3. Convenience:  Scotiabank’s ad highlights convenience by promoting that their advisors can meet potential homebuyers in a location that is convenient for them.

Spend: $7.4K | Impressions: 1.5M | CPM: $4.90

Spend: $5.1K | Impressions: 1.1M | CPM: $4.44

Switch Fee Waiver

Ads promote RBC's Mortgage/HRLC Fee Waiver incentive for people who switch their existing mortgages over to RBC before August 31st 2022. 

  1. Combine Offers: RBC combines their cashback offer with their mortgage/HRLC fee waiver incentive to make the offer sound more appealing.
  2. Image Ad Format: RBC uses simple illustrations in their image ads, with text highlighting the offer in the top left corner, and their logo at the bottom right.
  3. Highlighting Value: In RBC’s ad set, the ad's focal point is $4,100. They emphasise this value by using a larger font than the rest of the text.

Spend: $6.2K | Impressions: 1.4M | CPM: $4.40

Spend: $4.7K | Impressions: 1.1M | CPM: $4.40

Rate Guarantees

BMO and TD's mortgage rate guarantee ads encourage potential home buyers to lock in at a today's rate and have it held for up to 120 days (at TD) and 130 days (at BMO). 

  1. Rate Guarantees: BMO promotes that they offer the longest rate guarantee out of any major Canadian bank at 130-days. 
  2. Urgency: BMO is using the uncertainty that many Canadians feel about interest rates to create a sense of urgency to lock in at today's rate.

Spend: $6.5K | Impressions: 1.3M | CPM: $4.91

Spend: $700 |Impressions: 134KCPM: $5.22 | Click to View

Of the competitive set, the top organic keywords that drove the most traffic were keywords relating to mortgage calculators and rates.

Top paid search ads focused on TD’s special rates, CIBC’s cashback incentive and CIBC’s affordability calculator.

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