QuickBooks hits new heights in Quebec

Who: Intuit QuickBooks Canada (QuickBooks brand) with Headspace for strategy and creative; Cinelande for production; Zenith for media.

What: “Soyez au-dessus de vos affaires” (“On Top of Your Business”), a new campaign specifically targeting Quebec’s entrepreneurial community. It represents the company’s first original French-language advertising—as opposed to the common tactic of adapting English creative—in about five years.

When & Where: The campaign is in market now, running through the end of the year using 30- and 15-second video ads, complemented by a series of video testimonials featuring Quebec entrepreneurs and collaborations with local content creators.

Why: At its heart, the campaign is aimed at demonstrating how QuickBooks can help the province’s entrepreneurs stay on top of their business, said Intuit QuickBooks’ head of marketing, Puja Subrun.

Quebec is a crucial market for the company with a “rich and growing pool” of entrepreneurs, she said. “As we prepare for another year of economic uncertainty, including labour shortages, recession, inflation, etc. it was really important that we tailor our solutions and messages to this unique market.”

The company is increasingly looking to tailor its messages to individual markets in which it operates. “Quebecers increasingly expect brands to speak in their language and recognize their unique culture and needs,” she said.

How: Headspace has done extensive adaptations of QuickBooks’ English-language advertising for Quebec, but it’s still advertising that’s not truly created for Quebec, said Headspace president Eric Blais. “Quebecers are quite intuitive, and quite able to quickly detect when something was not designed for them,” he said. “No matter how good you are at localizing it, and trying to give it a Quebec feel, it’s still not designed with Quebec in mind from scratch, and they’re able to see that.”

The new spot was shot in downtown Montreal, It shows how QuickBooks can help users get on top of their business by focusing on a woman entrepreneur who is quite literally hovering above the ground as she goes about her day, enjoying the feeling of having everything under control thanks to QuickBooks. It features a soundtrack by an up-and-coming Quebec band called Clay & Friends.

“It’s designed to show how small businesses can feel lighter when they know their finances are under control,” said Subrun. “We know that running a business is no easy feat, and when you’re a small business managing your finances while focusing on growing, it can be a heavy lift.”

The brand hoped to resonate with Quebecers by leaning heavily into the province’s culture, lifestyle and community, said Subrun. “We really wanted to bring out the province’s joie de vivre and showcase that,” she said.

And we quote: “If at the strategy level we start with a local insight, the creative will most likely resonate, connect and engage way more,” said Blais. “It’s a small community that loves advertising…so there’s more talk that gives it the multiplier effect. Local is so powerful in Quebec right now because it’s pride.”

Chris Powell