BMO creates wrapping paper to advertise women-owned businesses

Who: BMO, with FCB for creative, and UM for media.

What: “Wrap the Good,” is gift-wrapping paper that doubles as advertising for small businesses owned by women.

When & Where: The special wrapping paper was introduced late last week (Nov. 27), with some given to the women-owned businesses featured on the paper, and the rest handed out through BMO. The bank is also promoting the effort through its branches and via a paid social campaign on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.

Why: BMO created a grant program to support women-owned small businesses in 2012, and earlier this year donated $120,000 in grants to women-owned businesses as part of its Celebrating Women Grant Program.

After nearly two years of the pandemic, businesses run by women need more support than ever. According to StatsCan, women-owned businesses were more likely than other private sector businesses to report a drop in revenue of at least 30% in 2020 compared to 2019.

“The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on Canada’s woman-owned businesses, which will take longer to recover financially than businesses owned by men,” said Jennifer Carli, head, global brand and social, BMO Financial Group, in a release. ”Wrap the Good underscores BMO’s commitment to empowering women-owned businesses that are such a vital part of the fabric of our communities, particularly at a time when they’re in need of support.”

How: The paper features images of gifts, as well as a QR code that drives to a gift guide on Pinterest featuring shoppable products from more than 25 women-owned small businesses in Canada.

More than 5,000 sheets of the wrapping paper have been produced and distributed to the businesses featured in the guide, and through some BMO branches and employees. Those giving or receiving the gifts and wrapping paper are also encouraged to share the initiative on their social channels to further amplify the effort, said Kaleigh MacMaster, senior marketing manager, brand advertising at BMO.

“I think from the moment we saw this concept through to when it went live, it is just that kind of feel good campaign that you want and need in the holiday season,” she said.

“It’s a perfect extension of the work we’ve been doing with the BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program, using a medium that we know people are already using—which is wrapping paper—and using that to create that ripple effect of supporting women-owned businesses.”

David Brown