It has a good beat and you can spend to it

Who: Interac, with Zulu Alpha Kilo and The French Shop for creative, Zulubot for production, Media Experts for media, and Hill+Knowlton Strategies for PR.

What: “Sound of Spending,” a new digital tool from the payment processing company that creates a musical representation of Canadians’ monthly spending habits. It’s part of the InLife brand platform introduced earlier this year, encouraging Canadians to enjoy love while remaining in control of their money.

When & Where: The tool resides on a dedicated website, and is being supported by a six-week paid media campaign that includes Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, native content and a new Spotify podcast.

Why: The key plank of the InLife platform is helping Canadians better understand and stay in control of their money.

Matt Houghton, Interac’s director of digital and integrated marketing, said that using an “emotive output” such as music helps the brand connect with its younger, tech-savvy target. “We’ve never seen shopping trends brought to life this way,” he said. “It makes you stop and think about how we spend as both a nation and as individuals.”

According to Manulife Bank’s most recent debt survey, nearly three-quarters (72%) of Canadians say their debt load has been negatively impacted by the pandemic, with nearly one-quarter pushed to borrow money to keep up with expenses.

How: To create the campaign, Interac and ZAK mapped the anonymized spending of Canadians across four key categories—food, entertainment, shopping and bills/utilities—over the course of the pandemic. It then assigned each category to a different musical instrument, with the tone and tempo matched to their spending: Higher and faster when spending was high, slower and lower when spending abated.

The resulting music track reflects changes in consumer spending habits over the course of the pandemic, from increasing spending on food and drink when the first lockdown hit, to spikes around the back-to-school and holiday periods. Canadians can also create their own custom track to represent their spending habits by plugging in dollar values for their spending across each of the four categories.

And we quote: “Not only is Interac here for Canadians, but we want to reinforce our day-to-day connection with them in their own language. Music is one universal language we all can relate to, whether we have a deep grasp of our finances or are just learning to navigate our spending.” — Wain Choi, executive creative director, Zulu Alpha Kilo

Chris Powell