Tangerine provides a reminder that we will hug again

Who: Tangerine, with John St. for creative, PHD for media, Saints Editorial for editing and SNDWRX for sound.

What: A new brand campaign that eschews COVID-era tropes (can we call six weeks an era?) of empty streets and sombre music to deliver a more uplifting message about life going back to normal at some point.

When & Where: The creative launched online Wednesday with a TV buy beginning Monday. A 60-second version will run for two weeks, with an emphasis on news programming, followed by a 30-second version from May 18.

Why: Tangerine and John St. decided that the initial shock of the pandemic has been absorbed, and people are ready for messaging about brighter days ahead. The campaign is not just about feeling more positive—there is an underlying product message about how Tangerine can help people save for when things return to normal.

“Tangerine’s mission has always been to help people make smart decisions about their money, and to continually find ways to help them save and grow their money,” said CMO Martin Fecko. “This could not be more relevant than it is right now.”

“This is trying to imagine the time when there is going to be freedom of movement,” said John St. chief creative officer Angus Tucker. “And at some point—at some point—whether it’s three months from now, or six months from now, or a year from now, there will be some version of the old normal… And you’re going to need some money to do all that stuff again.”

How: The 60-second video ad, “Again” is a montage of people doing things we can’t do because of the pandemic, with the reminder that we will be able to those things again, with a closing line: “And we’ll help you save so you can do it all again.”

“This campaign is about reminding Canadians that we will emerge from this. We will travel again. Eat out again. Life will go on,” said Fecko. “It’s a message of hope and optimism, grounded in truth and the role Tangerine plays in our clients’ lives.”

Did you discuss if it was too soon? “We did. Absolutely,” said Tucker. “Whenever you’re first out of the gate, there’s a risk of being too early.”

How did you know it’s not? “We did some research on this concept, and we’ve been monitoring social sentiment daily. And what we saw was that there was a significant weariness, a psychological weariness, with doom and gloom, empty streets, stay home… there was a hopelessness.” As they started working up the idea and testing it with people, the positive reactions were palpable, he said. “It was like, oh my god, I need this kind of messaging.”

“Results from our creative testing were reassuring, with overwhelmingly positive feedback,” added Fecko. “In fact, it was some of the most positive we’ve seen in any creative testing recently.”

Was it a hard sell to the client? “The creative team read the script and he said ‘That’s it, make this happen as soon as possible,'” said Tucker. The campaign went from idea to in-market in 11 days.

Tricks to going fast? Stock footage obviously—”The brief was find stock that doesn’t look like stock,” said Tucker—but the process was very fluid. If the editors from Saints couldn’t find an image or footage to fit the script, but found another good image, they rewrote the script to use the visual.

Quote: “Every creative team in the world is working on the same brief right now. Because the entire world is going through this exact experience,” said Tucker. “So as soon as we had this idea we went, ‘We’d better get this made as soon as possible.’ Whenever you have a really good idea, you’ve entered a race to produce it first, because the chances that another creative team somewhere on the planet has exactly the same idea, it’s probably a fairly good chance.”

David Brown