CIBC running creative agency review

Just months after launching a new brand identity and creative platform developed by long-time creative agency Juniper Park\TBWA, CIBC is in the midst of a creative agency review.

Though CIBC declined to comment, multiple agency leaders confirmed to The Message that the creative business was in review, although they were not taking part. The review is being led by search consultant Stephan Argent, who also declined to comment.

It’s believed that the bank is looking for two agencies to split the work currently handled by Juniper Park\TBWA, and the first round of the review has been completed. Juniper Park\TBWA, which has had the account since 2012, did not respond to questions asking if it was taking part in the review.

The review comes a little more than one year after Tammy Sadinsky joined CIBC as senior vice-president of brand and marketing, joining from Walmart. Rob Assimakopoulos had been CIBC’s CMO until late 2020.

In September, the bank launched a new brand identity and its “Ambitions made real” creative platform. The overhaul began before the pandemic, but was put on hold as the bank dealt with the uncertainty caused by Covid. Juniper Park\TBWA was responsible for the creative, while the brand identity was the work of New York design agency Lippincott.

The new look and advertising was shaped by the bank’s brand purpose of helping its customers achieve their ambitions, said Sadinsky at the time. “This is more than a logo change for us,” she said. “This is about who we are as a brand; this is about our purpose and reclaiming that purpose. This is about our why.”

Since then, CIBC and Juniper Park\TBWA have released a number of new executions (here and here) that use the brand’s diamond logo as a metaphorical portal to help its customers realize their personal ambitions.

Also late last year, CIBC separated out its Simplii Financial business and awarded it to Broken Heart Love Affair after an “extensive” RFP process that saw six agencies short-listed. “In our mind we had a very thorough look at the marketplace,” said Sadinsky.

“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.”

David Brown