Wealthsimple celebrates ‘The Shot’

Who: Wealthsimple, Wealthsimple In-House, Hone Production, Rock Paper Scissors (editing), Soup Music.

What: “Kawhi,” a new Toronto Raptors-themed spot (is there any other kind lately?) introducing the new Wealthsimple Trade product. The ad, conceived by Wealthsimple’s New York-based creative team of Rudy Adler, Mike Giepert, Devin Friedman and Jacob Weinstein, went from idea to broadcast in just six days. Adler and Giepert, by the way, are both former Wieden + Kennedy creatives, while Friedman is the former editorial director of GQ.

When & Where:  The :30 debuted during game four of the NBA Finals on Friday. The Wealthsimple team had hoped the ad would be shelved after Monday’s game, but it will be back for Game 6 (sigh) on Thursday.

Why: Giepert describes the ad as a “lighthearted” way for the company to introduce the Wealthsimple Trade product to an audience that might not be aware that $0 commission fee trading is now available in Canada.

How: The spot recreates “The Shot,” Kawhi Leonard’s epic series-winning shot against the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round of the NBA playoffs. The capper comes via a super at the end: “Nice trade, Toronto”—referencing the Raptors much scrutinized decision to trade their beloved star, DeMar DeRozan, for Leonard last summer.

But why “The Shot?” That was two rounds ago: “The shot was immediately iconic,” says Giepert.

“[Leonard] was the man the Raptors basically sold the farm for in a trade—a player on the last year of his contract, coming off a mysterious injury, about whom there were whispers about being a locker room problem. And, as you know, the ball took its time in determining whether it was a good choice or a bad one, a great season or an OK one, a genius trade or a bust that could relegate the Raptors to a years-long rut of self-examination and early departures from the playoffs.

“Four suspenseful bounces later, Kawhi launched the Raptors into the Eastern Conference Finals. And then to the NBA Finals. ‘The Shot’ was the moment that clinched it: Best. Trade. Ever.”

The music is cool. Where’s that from?: It’s an original piece composed by Andy Huckvale of Soup Music based off several samples. It’s called “Fairytale,” which seems apropos given how the Raptors’ season has unfolded.

What’s the reaction been?: The spot has garnered more than 51,000 views on YouTube since its debut, and reactions have been enthusiastic. “Thumbs up a million times,” said one commenter. “Perfect. Not often I track down a commercial,” added another.

“Of course it’s great when people like our work,” says Giepert. “We’ve heard from a lot of people who watched the game in Toronto bars that the room cheered when the ad played. So that’s pretty cool.”

Anything else?: Wealthsimple is in the process of securing a “long-term agreement” with the media agency that brokered the buy, but won’t say any more until the deal is finalized.


Chris Powell