Facebook Ad Boycott by Canada's Big 5 Banks

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July 1, 2020
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

Ad Focus on Facebook & YouTube: The Big Five Banks (TD, RBC, CIBC, BMO, & Scotiabank) collectively increased their Facebook ad spend in August by +90.6K% MoM after participating in the Facebook boycott in July. With the Facebook boycott out of the headlines, the Big Five have resumed their Facebook ad spending.

Desktop Video spend (YouTube accounts for 99%) paralleled the Facebook ad spend increase, with Facebook accounting for 43% & YouTube accounting for 42% of August ad spend. 

Overall ad spend for the Big Five banks increased by +175% from July to August, which was largely due to Facebook & YouTube. 

With the above in mind, Facebook & YouTube are starting to become crowded spaces for financial service related advertisement. The short window of capitalizing on the break in Facebook ad spend has closed. As such, advertising on Facebook & YouTube should involve high-quality creative that is hyper-targeted to cut through the noise of other financial ads and connect with the target customer.

Last month we reported that the Big Five Banks participated in the Facebook boycott and reduced their collective Facebook advertising spend by -100% MoM.

Ad Spend

The Big Five shifted their focus to Desktop Video & Desktop Display, which increased MoM in July by +1037% & +104%, respectively.

Ad Spend

In August, The Big Five reversed their course and collective Facebook advertising increased by +90.6K% MoM.

Ad Spend

Though, Desktop Video still remained a priority in August seeing a +63% MoM increase in ad spend & nearly the same total ad spend as Facebook.

Ad Spend

In August, Facebook accounted for 43% of ad spend. Desktop Video accounted for 42% which was down from 72% in July. Desktop Display accounted for 12% which was down from 23% in July.

Percent of Ad Spend

Overall ad spend for the Big Five banks increased by +175% from July to August, which was largely due to Facebook & Desktop Video.

Ad Spend

The top ad sites in August were Facebook & YouTube which accounted for a collective 84% of ad spend.

Top 10 Ad Site

Similar to July, 99% of Desktop Video ad spend in August was spent on YouTube.

Ad Spend

Social traffic in August to the Big Five banks website’s grew by +12% MoM.

Web Traffic
Desktop traffic only

In August, YouTube has continued to make up the majority (41%) of the Big Five’s combined desktop social traffic, while Facebook made up 30%. Traffic from YouTube grew by +19% MoM while traffic from Facebook grew by +10% MoM.

Percent of Social Traffic
Desktop traffic only

Search interest for the keyword “facebook boycott” in Canada peaked at the beginning of July and has experienced small spikes in interest over the past two months, dropping off at the end of August.

Relative Search Interest


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