RBC goes back to the Training Ground for Beijing Games

Who: RBC, with DentsuOne for strategy and creative; Holiday Films for production, Stellick Marketing Communications for PR.

What: A campaign promoting the seventh iteration of RBC Training Ground, the RBC-backed elite athlete identification and development program. Although Training Ground is an always-on program, it takes on additional resonance and significance during Olympic years.

When & Where: The campaign is running across CBC/Radio Canada channels, as well as inventory owned by the public broadcaster’s Olympic partners Sportsnet and TSN, during next month’s Beijing Games. It includes TV, digital, and additional online platforms, including the live streaming service CBC Gem. RBC is also launching a TikTok challenge called the #RBCPodiumPose challenge on Feb. 3, and is bringing back its long-running Olympic content series “RBC Spotlight.”

Why: It’s promoting RBC Training Ground and its success in identifying and developing Olympic-calibre athletes. RBC first began to see the program’s full impact last year, when eight of its athletes competed at the Tokyo Games (with four of them medalling). Five RBC Training Ground athletes will compete at the Beijing Games next month.

The creative resides under the “Ideas Happen Here” brand platform that RBC introduced during last year’s Tokyo Games. “‘Ideas Happen Here’ has been built on the belief that the world is entering a revolutionary age of ideas while the global community rebuilds, reimagines and reinvents itself,” said Shannon Cole, RBC’s senior director of brand marketing. “It is our expression that RBC is uniquely positioned to lead, contribute, and convene to make purposeful contributions to our clients and communities.”

That platform led to strong early results for RBC, said Cole, including a stronger association between the bank and the concept of “ideas,” as well as lifts in favourability, consideration, and affinity amongst non-clients.

How: The campaign is constructed around four 30-second spots: “One Idea,” “The Jump,” “New Routes” and “The Next Idea.” Each delivers a message about how powerful ideas such as RBC Training Ground have the capacity to change people’s lives.

The creative features several RBC Training Ground athletes, including skier Marion Thénault, bobsledder Kayden Johnson, and cyclist Kelsey Mitchell, showing how the idea of trying a new sport at RBC Training Ground tryouts led to them becoming an Olympian (and in some cases an Olympic medallist).

Additional creative promoting RBC Vantage’s Rewards on Debut has RBC Olympian and Canadian women’s national hockey player Sarah Nurse showing how easy it is to get rewards on everyday purchases simply by having an RBC account, while a spot for RBC Nomi shows Olympic snowboarder Mark Morris effortlessly monitoring his finances via Nomi in the RBC app, all while demonstrating his snowboarding prowess.

And RBC Spotlight is back: RBC is also bringing back the “RBC Spotlight,” an ongoing content series profiling Canada’s Olympic athletes. RBC profiled more than 20 Olympians and eight RBC Training Ground graduates during the Tokyo Games.

According to IMI research provided to RBC by CBC, the “RBC Spotlight” series delivered 56% awareness amongst Olympic fans in Tokyo, improved RBC’s favourability by 28% among those aware of the activation, and increased RBC’s consideration by 17%.

And TikTok, too: RBC has introduced the #RBCPodiumPose challenge, designed to give consumers an opportunity to look like they are celebrating on an Olympic podium. Fans are invited to take three selfies, that are then animated and placed in a collage that makes it look like they’re standing atop all three levels of the podium.

And we quote:“What began as an idea in 2016, has since become a cornerstone in championing the dreams of young people and developing the next generation of Team Canada. Building off the incredible success of Tokyo 2020, we look forward to supporting the RBC Olympians and RBC Training Ground athletes competing in Beijing 2022, and continuing to discover new athletes with Olympic potential.” — Mary DePaoli, executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, RBC

Chris Powell