Simplii banks on Broken Heart Love Affair to build its brand

In its second major account win of the week, Broken Heart Love Affair announced Friday that it has been named agency of record for CIBC’s direct banking brand, Simplii Financial. The selection was made following what it described as an “extensive” RFP process that saw six agencies short-listed.

“In our mind we had a very thorough look at the marketplace,” said Tammy Sadinsky, who took over as senior vice-president, brand and marketing for Simplii parent CIBC earlier this year.

Along with its production arm Lifelong Crush, BHLA will be responsible for developing a new brand platform for the four-year-old brand that will extend across its various business lines, including banking, cashback Visa, mortgages, foreign exchange and global money.

“It is going to be a very intimate partnership—that’s what we’re looking for with our brand,” said Sadinsky. “I know [Simplii] is going to be in great hands creatively and strategically as we grow our business.”

Simplii was seeking an agency partner that shared its vision for both growth and disruption. “How BHLA has positioned its business and operating model, and what it wants to do from a creative standpoint, is exactly the kind of breakthrough work we know we want to do on Simplii,” she said. “It just felt right culturally and from an ambition standpoint.”

The Simplii business had previously been with Juniper Park\TBWA, which continues to work on the CIBC business and was behind the rebrand introduced in September. “This just allowed us to bring in a different set of creative competencies and expertise for this brand,” said Sadinsky.

Simplii has amassed nearly 1.8 million clients since launching in 2017, but Sadinsky said it is still in its “infancy” from a brand standpoint. “From a brand awareness standpoint, we have a lot of headroom to really build this brand,” she said. “We’ve got a huge runway, and if we think about ourselves as a new business that needs to unlock itself, that’s where we are in our life cycle.”

“The headroom that we have on this brand in terms of getting [it] noticed is what’s exciting,” added BHLA partner and chief creative officer Carlos Moreno. “Being able to come up with a strategy and creative that is going to set the stage for Simplii to keep growing and get better in the next few years, and beyond, is why we’re so excited and happy to be working on this [business].”

Friday’s announcement comes just two days after BHLA announced it had won the remit for Go RVing Canada, the latest in a string of account wins including Kruger Products, the Royal Ontario Museum and Air Miles. “The ambition we have is to create brands that are going to stand the test of time,” said Moreno. “[We want to create] advertising and communications platforms that are not just here and gone.”

Chris Powell