Why the pandemic was the right time for nesto’s first brand campaign

Who: nesto, with Cossette for strategy and creative, and Jungle Media for media. Production by Cossette Montreal’s in-house studio, Septième.

What: “Low from the get go,” the first national brand awareness campaign for the digital mortgage shopping platform.

When & Where: The campaign went live last week with a :30 and a :15 in French running on TV, supported by online video and social. The media buy is for eight weeks.

Why: Launched in 2018 by Malik Yacoubi, former chief digital officer at Cossette, Montreal-based nesto calls itself a disruptor in the mortgage industry, providing customers access to mortgage rates across the country. Up until now the company had mostly focused on performance marketing through Facebook and Google, said Yacoubi.

The company had been moving toward a brand campaign early last year, but the pandemic caused two significant shifts in the market that made this the right time to run a campaign about online mortgage shopping.

“The real estate market was really hot all year across Canada,” said Yacoubi. “And at the same time people were shifting online so it was like a perfect storm for us. With the pandemic, we’ve definitely seen an acceleration of the adoption of online services such as ours, and for us, the timing was right.”

How: The ads feature the everyman archetype of a school custodian, who wows onlookers by completing amazing and unexpected acts with ease—a metaphor for getting the best mortgage rate on the first try with nesto. “Nesto, low from the get go,” says the narrator. The brief to the agency was to convey the unique sales proposition, said Yacoubi. “That is ease of use, simplicity, and no need to negotiate will get you the best rate.”

Music: The ads are soundtracked by the nearly 30-year old Canadian reggae fusion hit “Informer” by Snow—an undeniably catchy song, but also about being arrested for attempted murder. When he saw a version with Informer, Yacoubi thought it fit well with the ad and said he doubts anyone will think much about the lyrics. “I just felt like ‘What the hell, let’s do it.'”

And we quote: “It was important for us to communicate the company’s two biggest value propositions—ease and efficiency—in a memorable way that was as uncomplicated as the platform and experience itself. Even the campaign tagline ‘Low from the get go’ communicates nesto’s brand promise in a way that connects the dots for consumers immediately.” — Olivier Charbonneau, director, business lead at Cossette

David Brown