How Canadian Banks Allocated $80M in Digital Ads Over a 3-Month Period

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YouTube
Paid Search
Display Ads
November 25, 2022
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

Advertising Channel Scan™ 

Advertising Trends

  • Brands in the competitive set spent the most on Paid Search ($30.3M), followed by Facebook ($23.9M) and YouTube ($21.3M). Display ($3.1M) saw the lowest ad spend allocations.
  • Ad spend for Q3 increased by 7% for the brands in the competitive set. 
  • Spending in Q3 increased for Facebook (+39%) and YouTube (+32%) and decreased for Paid Search (-17%) and Display (-11%).
  • 100% of brands saw Paid Search advertising on their top 2 roster for the highest spends.
  • TD had the highest budget amongst the competitive set, with an ad spend of $20.5M in Q3 2022.

Content Trends

  • 70% of the top two ads for Paid Search campaigns across brands focused on incentivizing the viewer to click by providing a gift with sign-up, receiving money back, or saving money with each transaction. 
  • Facebook and YouTube saw commonalities in brands focusing on a humanistic approach to their advertising. Through showcasing ads with people in them, the brands relate to the viewers through topics like retirement, friendship, and humour.
  • TD utilizes their partnership with Starbucks in their ads to convey to viewers the benefits of using their cards and utilize the popularity of Starbucks to attract clients. 

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

From Q2 to Q3 2022, the competitive set spent $152.5M on digital advertising and increased spend by +7% during Q3 2022. 

All brands in the competitive set saw increases in ad spend between Q2 and Q3 2022.

Facebook and YouTube saw increases in ad spend between Q2 and Q3. Paid Search and Display saw decreases in ad spend of -17% and -11%, respectfully. 

Paid Search ($30.3M) saw the highest budget allocation across the competitive set, followed by Facebook ($23.9M) and YouTube ($21.3M). 

Display ($3.1M) saw the lowest ad spend allocations from July 2022 to September 2022.

From July 2022 to September 2022, TD had the largest budget amongst the competitive set at $20.5M

35% of their budget went towards Facebook ($7.2M), followed by Paid Search at $5.9M (29%) and YouTube at $5.3M (26%).

On Facebook, TD budgeted $5.5M toward Link Post ads (76%) followed by Video Post ads at $1.5M (21%) and Carousel Post ads at $226K (3%). 

Facebook Tactics

TD spent $7.2M on Facebook from July 2022 to September 2022.

Starbucks Partnership:

  • Both top ads feature a partnership collaboration with Starbucks. TD utilizes the ubiquitous popularity of Starbucks to incentivize customers to learn more.
  • TD ensures the audience quickly understands the partnership by mentioning ‘Starbucks’ 3+ times per ad and pairing their cards next to an image of Starbucks coffee cups.

Double the Rewards:

  • Both ads explain how clients can earn both Starbucks Rewards and TD Points by being a TD cardholder. 
Facebook Ad #1 | Facebook Ad #2

TD budgeted $3.1M toward Desktop Paid Search (53%) compared to $2.8M on Mobile Paid Search (47%).

Paid Search Tactics

TD spent $5.9M on Paid Search from July 2022 to September 2022. July 2022 saw the highest ad spend of $2.3M

Easy to Use:

  • The world of investing is confusing to navigate and TD alleviates the viewer’s concerns by utilizing the word “easy” in both their ad titles alongside words like “knowledgeable support” and “watch in-app how-to videos” in their description. 

Money Saving Incentives: 

  • Whether through saving $150 in transfer fees or getting 50 commission-free stock trades; TD’s ad descriptions both explain how the viewer can save money when they switch to TD. 
TD landing page #1 | TD landing page #2

From July 2022 to September 2022, CIBC spent $16.1M in digital advertising. 

40% of their budget went towards YouTube ($6.4M) and 39.6% went towards Paid Search ($6.4M), followed by Facebook at $3.2M (20%).

On YouTube, CIBC budgeted $6.4M toward Desktop ads (99.95%) and $3.4K (0.05%) towards Mobile ads. 

YouTube Tactics

CIBC spent $6.4M on YouTube from July 2022 to September 2022.

Associating with Friendship:

  • In both videos’ first frames, they hook viewers with a scene of two friends embracing one another.
  • The video is filmed from a first-person perspective and close proximity camera angles at the beginning of both videos. These are aimed to make the viewer feel like they’re there in the moment.

Sign-Up Incentives:

  • Each ad ends with CIBC’s $400 sign-up incentive to drive leads and motivate new customers.
YouTube Ad #1 | YouTube Ad #2

CIBC budgeted $3.3M toward Desktop Paid Search (52%) compared to $3.1M on Mobile Paid Search (48%).

Paid Search Tactics

CIBC spent $6.4M on Paid Search from July 2022 to September 2022. July 2022 saw the highest ad spend of $3.8M

Appealing to Desires:

  • CIBC puts the viewer’s top desires in their ad title. Audiences who are looking for a savings account love the words “high interest” while students who are looking for a debit card love the words “no monthly fee”. 

Loaded with Benefits:

  • For the ad directed towards students, CIBC loads the description with an array of free perks and benefits for students.
CIBC landing page #1 | CIBC landing page #2

From July 2022 to September 2022, BMO spent $14.9M in digital advertising. 

61% of their budget went towards Paid Search ($9.1M), followed by YouTube at $2.7M (18%) and Facebook at $2.6M (17%).

BMO budgeted $4.8M toward Mobile Paid Search (52%) compared to $4.3M on Desktop Paid Search (48%).

Paid Search Tactics

BMO spent $9.1M on Paid Search from July 2022 to September 2022. July 2022 saw the highest ad spend of $4.6M

Earn Money by Switching:

  • BMO entices viewers to click on their ad by stating twice in the description how clients can earn up to $400 by switching.

Relatable to Newcomers:

  • Top BMO ads targeted newcomers to Canada.
  • The ad is supportive in their messaging by using words like “BMO welcomes you to Canada” and stating that BMO has a specific program to help newcomers called NewStart.
BMO landing page #1 | BMO landing page #2

On YouTube, BMO budgeted $2.6M toward Desktop ads (96%) and $110K (4%) towards Mobile ads. 

YouTube Tactics

BMO spent $2.7M on YouTube from July 2022 to September 2022.

Comedic Entertainment:

  • BMO’s ad is witty and entertaining to viewers because of their video theme of “squirrel away your savings”.
  • BMO keeps the viewer engaged by pairing witty lines like “the squirrels are better at saving than we are” and “try embracing your inner squirrel” with funny visuals like an over-the-top amount of chestnuts.

Sign-Up Incentives:

  • This ad motivates new customers to open a new chequing account with BMOs $400 sign-up incentive.
YouTube Ad #1 | YouTube Ad #2

From July 2022 to September 2022, RBC spent $14.1M on digital advertising. 

39% of their budget went towards Paid Search ($5.5M), followed by Facebook at $5.2M (37%).

RBC budgeted $3.9M toward Mobile Paid Search (70%) compared to $1.6M on Desktop Paid Search (30%).

Paid Search Tactics

RBC spent $5.5M on Paid Search from July 2022 to September 2022. August 2022 saw the highest ad spend of $2.2M

Lead with Incentives:

  • Both the highest Paid Search ad in August 2022 featured the words “get an iPad” at the very beginning of their ad offering description.

Create Urgency:

  • RBC creates a sense of urgency and incentivizes a click by stating that their free iPad offering will only be available until Sept 30. 
RBC landing page #1 | RBC landing page #2

On Facebook, RBC budgeted $4.6M toward Link Post ads (88%) followed by Video Post ads at $600K (12%).

Facebook Tactics

RBC spent $5.2M on Facebook from July 2022 to September 2022.

Providing Inspiration:

  • With words like “new beginning” and “passions” in their messaging, they emanate the excitement of retirement towards their audience.
  • RBC’s landing page provides three inspiring examples of their clients’ lives during retirement.

Free Gift Showcase:

  • RBC puts a large static image footer on their video that showcases an iPad and the offer of getting an iPad “at no cost”. 
  • Throughout the video, an iPad is shown in use. 
Facebook Ad #1 | Facebook Ad #2

From July 2022 to September 2022, Scotiabank spent $13.2M in digital advertising. 

Top digital advertising spends are focused on Facebook ($5.6M), followed by Paid Search ($3.7M) and YouTube ($3.7M).

On Facebook, Scotiabank budgeted $5.4M toward Link Post ads (96%) followed by Video Post ads at $145K (3%).

Facebook Tactics

Scotiabank spent $5.6M on Facebook from July 2022 to September 2022.

Money Back:

  • Scotiabanks’ top ad spend for the period came from ads that offered customers an opportunity to get money back on their GIC or credit card. Scotiabank utilizes bright and colourful backgrounds to grab viewer attention. 

Award Backed:

  • The second highest ad spend went to a credit card ad that showcased their award for “Best Cashback Card” from MoneySense; giving the card an added layer of credibility. 
Facebook Ad #1 | Facebook Ad #2

Scotiabank budgeted $2M toward Desktop Paid Search (53%) compared to $1.7M on Mobile Paid Search (47%).

Paid Search Tactics

Scotiabank spent $3.7M on Paid Search from July 2022 to September 2022. September 2022 saw the highest ad spend of $1.4M

High-Relevance Keywords:

  • Scotiabank’s description contains highly relevant keywords that pertain to their target audience such as “personalized plans”, “budgeting”, and “home purchase plan”.
  • Scotiabank urges readers to use their online tool to book an appointment with an advisor.

Easily Accessible:

  • Scotiabank’s ad uses words like “apply online in minutes” and “get instant adjudication” to communicate their quick and easy credit card application process. 
Scotiabank landing page #1 | Scotiabank landing page #2

*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)

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