Scotiabank looks to ease Canadians’ nighttime money worries with ‘Sleep Advisor’

Who: Scotiabank, with Rethink for creative, Skin and Bones for production, PHD Canada for media.

What: “Sleep Advisor,” a national campaign promoting the bank’s Scotia Advice+ service, which launched in 2020 with a goal of providing “targeted, personalized financial advice” intended to help Canadians navigate their way through the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. It’s a broad-based campaign targeting Canadians of all ages and incomes.

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When & Where: The campaign is anchored by a telephone hotline (1-833-SLEEEEP) that is designed to provide some relief for anxious customers by putting them in touch with one of Scotiabank’s financial advisors. It’s being supported by a variety of campaign elements, including TV, radio, digital out-of-home and YouTube ads, all driving to a dedicated site at

Why: The campaign comes as the pandemic has led many Canadians to reassess their finances and their short- and long-term money habits. According to Scotiabank’s third annual Worry Poll, Canadians spend an average of 10 hours per week worrying about their finances, with 32% of the survey’s 1,500 respondents indicating that worrying about their finances keeps them up at night.

According to the survey, growing or protecting their investments was the biggest worry for Canadians (19%), followed by worries about being able to pay for day-to-day expenses (15%) and paying off debt (13%).

The goal is to get Canadians to book an appointment with a Scotiabank advisor, call the hotline, or visit the Sleep Advisor page on the Advice+ Centre website to get personalized advice about their investments and reach their financial goals.

How: All of the creative is built around the idea of inducing sleepiness for anxious Canadians. A 30-second TV spot features Canadians awake in the middle of the night because of their various money-related concerns, such as “Can I afford to buy a house?” “Is a million dollars still a lot?” and “What, exactly, is a stock?” There are also a series of 15-second cutdowns related to specific concerns.

The hotline, meanwhile, contains features created to soothe Canadians’ financial anxiety while they wait to speak with an advisor, including an invitation to take a deep breath and count backwards from 10 while thinking about their financial goals. “We’ve enhanced the experience customers have when calling for help by changing everything from the hold messages to the product-related messages,” said John Rocco, Scotiabank’s vice-president of Canadian bank marketing.

The media buy from PHD Canada is using social ads running between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., specifically targeting Canadians who are unable to sleep because of money worries. “We wanted to reach people when they were having worrying thoughts,” explained Rocco.

And we quote: “Scotiabank’s ambition is to be a bank that leads with empathy, and that means we need to meet our customers when/where they are with the information and support they need,” said Rocco. “The TV spot was created to highlight those worries and provide our solution of tailored advice through our Scotiabank Advisors or Sleep Advisor investments tools, so they rest easy knowing we have their backs.”

Chris Powell