When it comes to mindful shopping, Interac has some sound ideas

Who: Interac, with Zulu Alpha Kilo for strategy and creative, with French adaptation by The French Shop; Zulubot for production (Sean Deakin directing) and post-production; Sixième Son for sonic branding; Hill+Knowlton Strategies for research PR; Media Experts for media.

What: “Sound Shopping,” an integrated campaign built around a custom music track meant to promote more mindful shopping at a time when inflation and rising interest rates are putting greater pressure on the finances of Canadians.

When & Where: The track is available on Spotify, and is being promoted by an integrated media plan geared towards “sound-on environments”—including Truview for Action video ads on YouTube, as well as TikTok ads with influencer collaborations, and ads on the Spotify platform. In-mall posters will also feature a scannable Spotify code to reach consumers in the shopping environment.

Why: In 2021, Interac launched its InLife brand platform, which encourages Canadians to enjoy life while maintaining control of their money.

Recent research commissioned by Interac found that 62% of Canadians are seeking tools that promote intentional spending, and as a brand that has oriented itself around helping Canadians stay in control of their money, Interac sought to develop a tool that could help.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that ambient in-store music can encourage shoppers to spend more, with everything from the type of music being played to the tempo of the music playing a role in how people shop. Velentin Fleur, head of strategy for Sixième Son, said that music has the ability to put people into “a state of flow” that can sometimes lead to out-of-control spending.

Music and shopping has been a theme of the InLife platform for Interac. Last year, it introduced a digital tool called “Sound of Spending” that created a musical representation of its users’ monthly spending habits: Higher and faster when their spending was high, slower and lower when it slowed.

How: The campaign is highlighted by a 24-minute music track composed by Sixième Son that constantly changes tempo, music patterns, and instrumentation—techniques that Fleur said are specifically designed to make listeners “consciously aware” of their environment and potentially help curb their spending.

Interac conducted a study in which half of participants listened to the “Sound Shopping” track, while a control group listened to the standard pop music that customers typically hear in stores. The “Sound Shopping” participants reported that the track made them feel calmer, and was associated with a 98% purchase satisfaction rate. The accompanying video said that shoppers 25-34 who listened to the “Sound Shopping” track spent 38% less.

Matt Houghton, director of digital and integrated marketing at Interac, said that the company’s primary audience over-indexed on both music and shopping affinities, which makes the approach a “natural fit” with their needs and interests.

In terms of visual assets, the campaign uses Interac’s brand colours in a graphic treatment that turns sound waves into the form of a pulsing shopping bag. “The creative design articulates the notion of music meeting spending behaviours in a clear yet impactful way,” said executive creative director Wain Choi. “Most people are familiar with the idea of music encouraging shopping in store, as a brand that stands for control, our goal was to encourage mindfulness instead.”

And we quote: “Exploring the interplay between music and shopping behaviours is very meaningful in relation to our brand purpose of helping Canadians get more out of life by being in control of their money, and also reflects the interests and needs of our primary consumer audience who are actively on the go in their daily lives, and seeking tools to help them with their finances.” —Matt Houghton, director of digital and integrated marketing, Interac

Chris Powell