Scotiabank’s artistic approach to its first Wealth Management campaign in five years

Who: Scotiabank, with Rethink for creative, along with the bank’s in-house agency Lighthouse, and PHD for media.

What: “Think Bigger Together,” a new brand campaign for Scotia Wealth Management.

When & Where: The campaign is in market now for about three months to start, using print, out-of-home, and digital.

Why: Scotiabank hasn’t had a Scotia Wealth Management brand campaign in market for more than five years, and while its customer satisfaction scores are high, awareness beyond the existing customer base is not. “We have an amazing firm. We just need more people to know about it,” said global chief marketing officer Laura Curtis Ferrera.

They wanted to keep the brand’s existing positioning of “Enriched Thinking,” but needed “Think Bigger Together” to introduce the brand to more potential customers.

“Our task was, slowly but surely build mental availability and brand awareness,” she said. “This was not a quick hit campaign. I’m not looking for immediate sales. I’m not looking for immediate lead generation. I’m looking for people who would be interested in Scotia Wealth Management, to have that mental availability around what is ‘Enriched Thinking’ and why they should care.”

How: The directive to Rethink was “be bold,” said Curtis Ferrera. “The other thing we said was, ‘please don’t fall into tropes.’ I don’t want to see somebody standing on a yacht looking to the horizon.”

To do that, Rethink worked with three world class artists/illustrators—Noma Bar, Ben Wiseman, and Anna Parini—to share their interpretations of what enriched thinking means, while avoiding generic images of affluence.

The result is a campaign that doesn’t tell people what wealth management looks like so much as get them thinking about what wealth management looks like for them—the way good art becomes an evocative and personal experience for each individual viewing it.

Headlines like “When the right minds meet” and “The art of collaboration,” combined with the tagline “That’s Enriched Thinking” tie it back to the message that working together with Scotia Wealth can help customers realize their goals of financial comfort or affluence, whatever they may be.

There are six illustrations in all—four from Bar, and one each from Wiseman and Parini—using the brand colours of red, black and white. “I just thought it was so clever that you could have multiple artists thinking through what [Enriched Thinking] could mean, without using lifestyle imagery that can be so confining,” said Curtis Ferrera.

The media: They didn’t go into this one with any media plan in mind, but once Rethink proposed illustrators, they realized they could use traditional media for a big effect, said Curtis Ferrera. The buy includes all of the digital and social you would expect, and will evolve to include lead-generation, but the short-term goal is high impact from print and out of home.

That means double-page spreads in titles like House & Home and Maclean’s, as well as full page ads in the Globe and Mail, with prominent billboards in key locations reaching affluent audiences. “It’s not just that it’s out of home, it’s the billboard on Bloor Street in Toronto,” she said. “It’s kind of impact versus quantity.”

This buy is for 90 days, but it will likely move toward “always on” after that. “If you go in market 90 days and out, you just don’t build up that mental availability,” said Curtis Ferrera. “So I’m willing to play the long game. I want to build up, over a longer period of time, the awareness of Scotia Wealth Management as the premier wealth management firm in Canada.”

About Lighthouse: Scotiabank has long had an in-house creative group, but it evolved into an in-house agency (“in the modern sense of the word”) about two years ago, said Curtis Ferrera.

“Rethink does all of our tentpole campaigns,” she said, but the role for Lighthouse is more than just executing Rethink ideas. “At almost every turn, Rethink and Lighthouse—on the major work—are working together or talking together or sharing. So it’s more fluid than Rethink does one thing and Lighthouse does another.” That said, “Think Bigger Together” was led by Rethink.

And we quote: “When you start using lifestyle imagery that tries to presume you know what somebody wants in their life, or what affluence looks like in Canada, you’re doing everyone a disservice… We’re not trying to presume what wealth looks like in Canada. And I just think this is a really smart, elegant approach to that.” — Laura Curtis Ferrera, global CMO, Scotiabank.

David Brown