How Canadian Banks Allocated $23M in Digital Ads Over a 3-Month Period

Display Ads
Advertising
Facebook
YouTube
Twitch
September 22, 2022
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

Brands in the competitive set invested $23M in digital advertising from June 2022 to August 2022. Here’s how:

Performance Ads: Ads aim to generate leads and direct sales with strong CTAs.

  • Performance ads accounted for 86% of the total ad spend of the competitive set.
  • Spend on performance ads was split evenly between Facebook (49%) and YouTube (50%). 
  • Of the Big Five banks included in the competitive set, their ad spends predominantly focused on performance-based ads, with Scotiabank allocating 95% of its relative ad spend on performance ads, RBC with 87% and CIBC with 76%. 

Brand Ads: Ads focused on brand positioning and awareness.

  • Brand ads accounted for 12% of the total ad spend of the competitive set.
  • Brand ads ran heavily on YouTube, which accounted for 86% of the total spend on brand ads.
  • Fintech banks, Neo Financial and Wealthsimple dedicated the greatest amount of their ad spend on brand-focused ads at 62% and 39%, respectively.

Educational Ads: Ads provide valuable information to viewers to generate web traffic.

  • Educational ads accounted for 2% of the total ad spend of the competitive set.
  • Spend on educational ads was predominantly on Facebook, which accounted for 95% of educational ads. 

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

From June 2022 to August 2022, the competitive set invested $23M on digital advertising campaigns. Scotiabank invested the highest spend at $8.3M, followed by CIBC ($7.7M) and RBC ($7.2M)*.

Of the competitive set’s $23M ad spend, approximately 86% was allocated to performance based ads, 12% to brand focused ads, and 2% to educational ads. 

Of the ads analyzed, brand ads, on average, had the highest spend, averaging $45K per ad. While performance ads had the greatest max spend, with CIBC allocating $696K to this YouTube ad. 

Spend on performance ads was split evenly amongst Facebook (49%) and YouTube (50%), whereas brand ads ran heavily on YouTube (86%) and educational ads on Facebook (95%).

Of the Big Five banks included in the competitive set, their ad spends predominantly focused on performance-based ads, with Scotiabank allocating 95% of its relative ad spend on performance ads, RBC with 87% and CIBC with 76%. 

Of the competitive set, the fintech banks, Neo Financial and Wealthsimple, dedicated the greatest amount of their ad spend on brand-focused ads at 62% and 39%, respectively.

RBC allocated the most to educational ads, which accounted for 5% of its total spend. Neo Financial and Wealthsimple did not run any educational focused ads. 

Top YouTube Ads:

Performance Ads

Performance ads with the top spend on YouTube focused on promoting banking features and sign up incentives.

ABCDs: The two CIBC ads shown follow the “ABCDs” of an effective YouTube ad creative:

  • Attract: In both videos’ first frames, the video hooks viewers with a scene of two people embracing each other.
  • Brand: Within the first second of the ads, CIBC displays its logo.
  • Connect: CIBC connects with the viewer by relating to friendship. They convey this message through clips of people interacting with others in social situations, which helps to create a sense of authenticity and humanize the brand.
  • Direct: Each ad ends with CIBC’s $400 sign-up incentive to drive leads.

Spend: $696K | Total Impressions: 53M | CPM: $13.21

Spend: $624K | Total Impressions: 47M | CPM: $13.21

Brand Ads

Brand ads with the top spend on YouTube in the competitive set focused on creating an emotional reaction through storytelling, rather than just conveying information.

  1. Storytelling: Ads are designed to convey a message and evoke an emotional reaction through storytelling. For example, the first ad shows a dad saying yes to treating his kids to the best time at a carnival, while the second ad shows Canadians saying what they would say to themselves on their first day in Canada.
  2. Newcomers: RBC, Scotiabank and CIBC ran ads targeting newcomers to Canada. Most of these ads were performance based, but some were brand-focused. 

Spend: $510K | Total Impressions: 39M | CPM: $13.21

Spend: $248K | Total Impressions: 19M | CPM: $13.21

Top Facebook Ads:

Performance Ads

Performance ads with the top spend on Facebook focused on showcasing incentives and promoting product offerings.

  1. CTA Button: Scotiabank aims to drive additional clicks by featuring an actionable CTA button directly on its ad’s image. Viewers are taken to the bank’s landing page by clicking on the image itself.
  2. Lead with Incentives: In the adScotiabank captures the viewer's attention with its 10% cashback incentive. By making the offer big and bold on the ad, they ensure that every person will see it and be compelled to read more.

Spend: $273K | Impressions: 62M | CPM: $4.37

Spend: $211K | Impressions: 48M | CPM: $4.43

Brand Ads

Top brand ads on Facebook featured short, video-based stories aimed to induce an emotional response from the viewer.

  1. Emotional Response: In this brand campaign, CIBC uses emotionally gauging copy such as “the freedom to play all day” and “making memories” to induce an emotional response from the viewer. As a result, ads leave viewers longing to save better to provide for their loved ones. 
  2. Logo: In both ads featured, CIBC utilizes the top right corner of the video’s frame to showcase its logo.  
  3. Headline: CIBC utilizes its tagline “Ambitions made real” in the ads’ headlines. 

Spend: $50K | Impressions: 11M | CPM: $4.38

Spend: $43K | Impressions: 9.8M | CPM: $4.38

Top Facebook Ads:

Educational Ads

Educational ads with the top spend on Facebook were shared by RBC and aim to educate the viewer on retirement and being an executor.

  1. Value Add: These two ads are designed to encourage the viewer to click for more information about a specific finance-related topic by providing free tools and checklists. The ads do not promote any specific product or service, but instead look to create a positive relationship with the viewer or potential customer.
  2. Platform Demographics: Increase your brand presence amongst an older audience by advertising on Facebook. Over 22% of Canadian Facebook users are over 55, making it a great platform to reach an audience that is retiring or looking to plan for their retirement

Spend: $181K | Impressions: 41M | CPM: $4.37

Spend: $41K | Impressions: 9.1M | CPM: $4.47

Top Display Ads:

Performance Ads

Top performance display ads featured Scotia’s Total Equity Mortgage Plan and RBC’s Avion sign-up bonus points. 

  1. Relatable: The Scotia Total Equity Mortgage campaign aims to be relatable. The ads encourage the viewer to be prepared for life’s twists and turns, and then provides the relatable example of someone spontaneously deciding to redo their bathroom. The ads use the tagline “Life changes fast. The Scotia Total Equity Plan Mortgage changes with it.”  
  2. Top Sites: Some of the top sites on which these ads appeared included cineplex, kijiji, yahoo, buzzfeed and fandom

Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting. (USD Dollars) 

Spend: $28K | Impressions: 2.7M | CPM: $10.14 | Click to View
Spend: $27K | Impressions: 1.1M | CPM: $$23.74 | Click to View
Spend: $35K | Impressions: 4.6M | CPM: $7.43 | Click to View
Spend: $25K | Impressions: 7.7M | CPM: $3.25 | Click to View

*Data does not include Paid Search data. Ad spend includes Facebook, Display, and YouTube. Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting. (USD Dollars). 
Ad spend includes Facebook, Display, YouTube and Search.*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, or behavioural targeting. Approximation is based on the top 200 ads from each brand when applicable.

Added by: 

Recent Case Studies

Scroll horizontally to view more case studies →