How CIBC Launched Its New Brand Identity to 95% Of Canadians in Six Weeks

Brand & Positioning Strategy
Cross-Channel
Display Ads
YouTube
Advertising
October 27, 2021
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

CIBC unveiled its new brand identity on September 23, 2021, including a new modern logo, brand colour, ad campaign, and tagline. CIBC launched the branding across its digital channels and marketing right away and plans to roll it out on its banking products and locations over the next year. CIBC's goal was to simplify and modernize its branding to ensure a seamless digital experience, reach its customers on a human level and reclaim its brand purpose of helping customers achieve their goals. 

Brand Refresh — Creative Strategy:

  • Logo: CIBC's new logo is a modern take on their first logo from 1966. The logo was greatly simplified to increase recognizability, enhance digital usage, and transition into the modern world of banking.
  • Brand Identity: CIBC's new dual-colour palette was chosen to convey its modernity. The transition away from CIBC's yellow/gold was criticized for removing a significant differentiator amongst Canada's big five banks.
  • Brand Purpose: CIBC brand refresh aims to reclaim its brand purpose of helping customers achieve their goals with its new tagline, brand voice and brand assets.
  • Brand Assets: CIBC brand refresh includes a new hero video, tagline, four-note mnemonic, brand voice, photography and illustrations. 

Brand Refresh — Launch Strategy: CIBC unveiled their brand refresh just 10 days before the 30th anniversary of their titled sponsor event "CIBC Run for the Cure" which featured their new branding.

  • Refresh Landing Page: CIBC created a landing page to showcase the new branding, share the meaning behind the change, and address customers' concerns. The landing page generated +40K page visits (from Sep. 23 to Oct.19, ‘21)  with +11.8K on the first day.
  • Email Launch: CIBC sent out an email to their entire subscriber list (3.6M) to announce the brand refresh and assure clients that their banking services will remain the same. 
  • Organic Social Launch: CIBC launched its brand refresh on social with five creatives which were formatted for each platform. Additionally, they promoted the brand refresh with a grid and story series on Instagram and a video address from CIBC’s CEO on LinkedIn. 

Brand Refresh — Advertising Campaign: CIBC promoted the refresh with 1.5K assets rolled out across TV, OOH, and digital ads. CIBC aimed to reach 95% of all Canadians and 100% of their clients in six weeks of launching the brand refresh. 

  • Multifaceted Digital Campaign: To promote the brand refresh, CIBC ran a digital campaign that included display ads, YouTube video ads, and Facebook/Instagram ads. CIBC increase its total daily ad spend by +54% MoM, with YouTube's ad spend increasing by over +266% MoM. 

Brand Refresh Overview:

CIBC (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce), a prominent North American financial institute, unveiled their new brand identity to the world on September 23, 2021 which included a new modern logo, brand colour, ad campaign and tagline.

This rebrand marks the first change to their logo in nearly 20 years. CIBC had planned to launch the rebrand in 2020, but it was pushed back due to the pandemic.

Personal Banking and Financial Services | CIBC

Brand Refresh Objectives:

CIBC partnered with Lippincott to establish a simplified and consistent brand that would “better serve clients, drive a seamless digital experience, and amplify CIBC’s vision of being a relationship bank for the modern world”*. CIBC’s rebrand can be broken down into the following three main objectives:

1. Humanize

“It’s really, really important as a brand that we go beyond the transactional and rational place that this industry can sometimes be seen to play, and connect with our clients and consumers in a more modern human and emotionally relatable way.” 

Tammy Sadinsky, Senior Vice-President of Brand and Marketing, CIBC

2. Modernize

“One of the things that we really worked hard to do is to build a different bank...It’s the right time to express outwardly the modern vision of what CIBC is to the marketplace.” 

Victor Dodig, Chief Executive, CIBC

3. Brand Purpose

“This is more than a logo change for us,” 
“This is about who we are as a brand; this is about our purpose and reclaiming that purpose. This is about our why.”

Tammy Sadinsky, Senior Vice-President of Brand and Marketing, CIBC (Source)

Creative Strategy: 

To celebrate their 100th anniversary, CIBC's new logo is a modern take on their first logo from 1966. The new logo connects the iconic chevrons from their original logo, symbolizing the future and how CIBC joins together with its clients.

Ambitions Made Real | CIBC

Similar to Visa’s rebrand, CIBC’s new logo has been greatly simplified to increase recognizability, enhance digital usage, and transition into the modern world of banking. 

Brand Symbol. Similar to Visa and Mastercard’s rebrand, CIBC created a brand symbol that can be used without the wordmark to perform better on mobile. The new symbol represents “strength, stability and a path forward from a storied heritage”. People have pointed out the similarities between the new brand symbol and Roger’s and Renault’s.

Brand Purpose. The two chevrons crate a diamond shape which CIBC described as a “portal to your ambitions”. This symbol is to reaffirm CIBC’s brand purpose of helping their clients realize their personal ambitions. 

Brand Voice. CIBC’s new brand voice is clear, conversational, warm and widely accessible. It aims to build a human connection with the reader.

Simplified. To ensure a seamless digital experience, the new logo has been simplified with bright, modern brand colours.

Renewed Colour Palette. The new branding transitioned away from the yellow/gold brand colour which was criticized in the design community as it removes a major differentiator for CIBC amongst Canada’s big five banks. Additionally, new solid red branding is very similar to Scotiabank's branding. CIBC said the new dual-colour palette was chosen to convey the  “modernity and contemporary newness”*. 

Brand Assets. The new brand identity celebrates real clients and team members with photography. It also simplifies abstract ideas with custom illustrations.

Source

Campaign Hero Video:

CIBC created a hero video to introduce their new branding and tagline — “Ambitions Made Real”. 

The video features a girl making a wood airplane, who sees the CIBC brand symbol in the distance and starts to run towards it. Once she passes through the portal, she is suddenly flying a real airplane across the sky.

The video ends with their new tagline — “Ambitions Made Real” and a new four-note mnemonic. The video voice over shares CIBC’s new brand purpose of helping clients make their ambitions a realty

Campaign Landing Page:

To launch their rebranding, CIBC created a new landing page to unveil their new look and explain their new brand purpose. The brand refresh landing page generated +40K page visits (from Sep. 23 to Oct.19, ‘21)  with +11.8K on the first day.

Ambitions Made Real | CIBC

The refresh landing page showcases CIBC’s new branding, shares the meaning behind the change, and addresses any concerns customers may have.

1. Intro. CIBC introduces their new brand purpose and sets the stage for their brand refresh.

2. Hero Video. CIBC explains why they did a brand refresh, expands on their brand purpose and shares the campaign hero video.

3. Logo Evolution. CIBC shows how the new logo is a modern evolution of the 1966 logo. 

4. CIBC Memento Project. CIBC brings their brand purpose to life by sharing two stories of clients who achieved their ambitions through CIBC. 

5. Quote from President and CEO. CIBC shares a quote from Victor Dodig on CIBC's efforts to reaffirm its commitment to customers.

6. Q&A. CIBC addresses any questions or concerns existing clients may have about the brand refresh. 

Ambitions made Real | CIBC

Launch Strategy:

CIBC unveiled their brand refresh just 10 days before the 30th anniversary of their titled sponsor event “CIBC Run for the Cure” which featured their new branding. The event is the largest, single-day, volunteer-led event dedicated to raising funds for the breast cancer. In 2020, the event had over 85K participants from 57 communities across Canada*. 

Search interest peaks for “CIBC Run for the Cure” each year before the race on the first weekend of October. 

Source

Advertising Campaign:

CIBC worked with Juniper Park\TBWA to infiltrate its new brand across Canada. The vast advertising campaign included heavy-up buys on TV, OOH and digital. According to CIBC, this extensive campaign includes a total of 1.5K advertising assets and 6K email triggers. CIBC wanted to to ensure that all clients and 95% of all Canadians see the campaign by the first week of November 2021. CIBC refreshed all of its digital assets, and will be rebranding its physical assets – including banking centres and debit and credit cards*.

Email Launch:

To ensure all CIBC clients were aware of the brand refresh, CIBC sent out an email on September 23rd, 2021 to their entire subscriber list (3.6M). The email subject line was “we have a new look!” and it was positioned as personal note from CIBC’s President and CEO, Victor Dodig. The email focused on CIBC’s brand purpose and assured customers that their banking services will remain the same.

 Subject: We have a new look!| Volume: 3.6M | Read Rate: 33.5%
View

Organic Social Launch:

CIBC launched its brand refresh by sharing these five main posts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

1. Campaign Hero Video . Utilizing clips from the campaign hero video, CIBC introduces the new brand and their brand purpose.

2. Assuring Existing Clients. CIBC assures customers that their accounts will remain the same and links to the campaign landing. CIBC has pinned these posts to the top of their FB, LI, & TW.

3. Logo Evolution Video. CIBC showcases the evolution of their logo and how the new logo is a modern take on their 1966 logo.

4. CIBC Memento Project. CIBC shared two videos which shared the stories of two clients who achieved their ambitions with the help of CIBC. 

5. Fill in the Space. CIBC engages with their audience and promotes their new brand purpose by asking their audience what their ambitions are.

Post #1, Post #2, Post #3
Post #4, Post #5

CIBC formatted each of the five creatives for each platform to ensure optimal performance on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter


In addition to the five organic posts, CIBC promoted the brand refresh with a grid and story series on Instagram and a video address from CIBC’s CEO on LinkedIn. 

1. Launch Grid. On Instagram, CIBC introduced the brand refresh with a grid of their new branding. 

2. Launch Story. Additionally on Instagram, CIBC shared a story which unveiled their new look, explained why they did the refresh and what their new brand purpose is. CIBC saved this story to their profile highlights titled as “Our new look”.

3. CEO Address. CIBC's president and CEO, Victor Dodig, shared a personal video address about the brand refresh. CIBC shared this post on its LinkedIn company page. 

Launch Grid, Launch Story, CEO Address

Digital Campaign:

From September 20, 2021 to October 20, 2021, CIBC increased its ad spend by +54% MoM, with YouTube’s ad spend increasing by over +266% MoM. 

*Spend is a directional approximation and does not include retargeting, behavioural targeting, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram. Ad spend in USD.


YouTube Video Ads.

CIBC utilized clips from their hero campaign video to create an in-stream and bumper video ad for YouTube. These two video ads made up 5% of their total YouTube ad spend (from Sep. 20 - Oct. 20, 2021) and generated over 3.7M impressions during the two weeks they ran. 

Campaign Results:

In-stream Ad (10/7/2021-10/14/2021): | Length: 15 sec | Spend: $8.4K | Impressions: 634K | CPM: $13.25

Bumper Ad (10/3/2021-10/9/2021): Length: 6 sec | Spend: $41K | Impressions: 3.1M | CPM: $13.21


Display Ads

CIBC supported the brand refresh campaign with a series of display ads. The ads featured their campaign photography and with unique quotes from individuals about their ambitions. Additionally, CIBC ran banner ads featuring its new tagline, logo and branding to increase awareness.

Top Websites

theglobeandmail.com $27.4K

nationalpost.com $23.0K

amazon.ca $12.4K

thestar.com $5.6K

vancouversun.com $3.4K

Spend: $9.4K| Impressions: 633K CPM: $14.86 | Click to View

Spend: $5.1K| Impressions: 1.5M CPM: $3.35 | Click to View

Spend: $8.6K| Impressions: 570K CPM: $15.10 | Click to View

Spend: $4.8K| Impressions: 300K CPM: $16.05 | Click to View

Facebook & Instagram Ads

CIBC drove web traffic to the campaign landing page and increased brand awareness with a Facebook/Instagram image ad campaign. The ad featured the “My ambition is…..” creative with the campaign photography. Headlines utilized their new tagline and had a CTA to learn more. 

Post #1, Post #2, Post #3
Ad spend and results are currently unavailable

Web Traffic:

CIBC’s rebrand launch does not appear to have significantly impacted its overall web traffic, with year-over-year traffic increasing by only +0.8% from September 20th - October 19th, 2021. 


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