Advertising Travel Reward Credit Cards during a Pandemic

Paid Search
October 1, 2020
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

Paid Social Tactic — A/B Testing Promotional Offers: CIBC ran three different creatives for their Aventura Facebook campaign where they tested between two promotional offers - “$400 in Value” and “20,000 Aventura Points”. In addition, they included a third creative version where they included both promotional offers in the ad. When A/B testing promotional offers, make sure to keep all other variables constant (i.e: creative, landing page, spend, audience targeting) to get the most accurate results. 

The ideal time period for an A/B test is four days, however this may differ depending on the objective of your campaign and how long it takes your customer to convert.  

Content & Messaging  — Address Customer Concerns: The main message of CIBC’s Aventura campaign was that Aventura points do not expire. By making this the main message of the campaign, CIBC was addressing a common concern for many customers who are not able to travel in the immediate future due to COVID-19. Although signing up for a travel reward card in the midst of a pandemic may not be top of mind for most customers, CIBC’s advertisement reminded viewers of the adventures that are out there waiting for them “when the time is right”. 

Content & Messaging  — Timely & Relevant Content: CIBC’s YouTube ad had an element of humour, with Percy the Penguin attending a video conference online talking about the Aventura card. Zoom calls have spiked during quarantine, making the content timely and relevant. Consider referencing COVID-19 consumer behaviour changes (such as zoom calls or food delivery) into your advertisements to make your ad resonate with your viewers. 

Search interest around ‘CIBC Aventura’ decreased significantly (-76%) around March when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Search interest remained extremely low for the rest of the year.

To combat this decrease in search interest for CIBC’s travel reward card, they launched an Aventura campaign in October on YouTube and Facebook with a significant spend of $1.5M.

The YouTube campaign featured two creative versions, with their highly recognizable mascot - Percy the Penguin.

Two creative versions featured different landscapes across Canada (Banff, Vancouver, etc.). YouTube ad emphasized the fact that travel points do not expire and they will be ready for customers to use “when the time is right”.

Spend: $611K | Impressions: 23M | CPM: $26.44

Spend: $238K | Impressions: 12M | CPM: $26.44

The YouTube ad had an element of humour, with Percy the Penguin attending a video conference online talking about the Aventura card. The ad also featured two promos - 20,000 points and $400 in value. 

  • Ad featured Percy the Penguin attending an online meeting as Zoom calls are trending during COVID-19
  • The entire ad contained closed captioning at the bottom left of the video for the hearing impaired or people who have their sound turned off

On Facebook CIBC implemented A/B testing between 3 creative versions to see which promo performed the best. All three creative versions produced similar results, with a CPM of $3.79 across the board

Ad #1, Ad #2, Ad #3

All ads directed users to the same landing page, where customers could apply for the Aventura Travel Card.
Landing page emphasized once again that the travel points do not expire as people are currently not travelling due to the pandemic.

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CIBC also supported the Aventura campaign through paid search ads where they utilized the following tactics:

As a result, web traffic to the Aventura page on CIBC’s website increased by +80% MoM.

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