Comparison tool Hardbacon launches first TV ads

Who: Personal finance app Hardbacon and Montreal content agency EKO.

What: “Compare. Make Money,” the fintech startup’s first national ad campaign.

When & Where: The campaign launched this week, running across TV and digital media including Facebook and YouTube. Targeted TV ads, meanwhile, are running on the Radio-Canada series Zone économie and on L’Indice McSween. The campaign will run throughout the summer, with new executions planned for the fall.

What is Hardbacon: Hardbacon was launched in September 2017 by Julien Brault, a former business journalist who covered the venture capital and technology industries for Montreal’s Les Affaires. It launched as an app for retail investors to receive portfolio analysis, but has pivoted to become a comparison tool that enables users to compare competing offerings across various financial services, such as credit cards, brokers and mortgages. Brault appeared on an episode of CBC Television’s long-running pitch show Dragon’s Den last season, but failed to secure the $100,000 investment that valued the company at $1 million.

Why: The goal is to generate awareness for Hardbacon, which currently boasts about 25,000 users and has secured just over $1.1 million in funding through crowdfunding platforms like FrontFundr. The company announced its intention to go public earlier this year.

In a blog post on, Brault said that the campaign is designed to reach people 25 to 45 with an interest in personal finance. It is Hardbacon’s first time using TV, with Brault saying the medium confers legitimacy, particularly since the web can be home to some “shady” ads that are “not too far from being downright fraudulent.”

“A Canadian who sees a Hardbacon commercial on TV will assume it’s a big company because few small and medium-sized businesses can afford a TV advertising campaign,” he wrote. “This is increasingly less true, but there’s still a perception that you need very deep pockets to launch a TV campaign, when everyone knows that the little café across the street advertises on Facebook.”

How: The campaign highlights Hardbacon’s comparison tool. It consists of a series of 15-second animated spots that introduce some of the “pointless comparisons” made by Canadians, such as comparing their lawn to their neighbour’s, their fingernails to their sister’s nails, their abs to an Instagram model’s or their car to their brother-in-law’s car. The creative then shifts to more useful comparisons that can help Canadians, such as bank accounts, mortgages and online brokers. All of the ads drive to

And we quote: “Canadians leave a lot of money on the table by selecting the first financial product offered to them, rather than shopping for the best fees and rates. We wanted to make finding and comparing the right financial products easier and more convenient with Hardbacon.” — Julien Brault, CEO, Hardbacon

Chris Powell