Interac puts Canadians in charge this holiday season

Who: Interac, with Zulu Alpha Kilo for strategy and creative (The French Shop for Quebec); Zulubot for production; Toast & Jam and Lamajeure for audio; Proof Experiences for experiential; and Media Experts for media.

What: “You’re in Charge,” a new social-led campaign with a bullseye target of 25- to 34-year-olds. Built on the brand’s InLife platform, it’s based on research which found that while Canadians have a can-do attitude this holiday season, they’re also feeling “on edge” about money, and contemplating strategies to get them through.

When & Where: The campaign is in market now, running through Dec. 31 across online video, display, and placements in malls, Best Buy locations, and Montreal’s Bell Centre. There is also a two-minute Cineplex segment featuring TikTok-curated creator content and a 30 second compilation of its videos, and Interac is sponsoring holiday markets in Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa, with activations raising money for charities.

Why: It’s the most “spendiest” time of the year, with cash registers ringing and finances dwindling. Interac knows that a post-pandemic holiday season, coupled with inflationary pricing, is likely to put a strain on Canadians’ finances this year, so it’s once again reminding them to spend their own money rather than rely on high-interest credit cards.

How: The campaign is built around video shorts depicting a series of scenarios in which people are spending their own money with confidence, from a man chipping in for mom’s Christmas via e-transfer, to a woman using debit to pay for items on her Christmas list. Each spot features an electronic voice asking “How would you like to pay?”

Zulu’s executive creative director Wain Choi called the campaign is an evolution of the InLife platform, which debuted in the midst of the pandemic and previously took a more cinematic and earnest approach. This campaign is taking “a more youthful and energetic approach,” he said, prioritizing “short-form expressions of what it feels like to get more out of life when you feel in control of your money.”

Each spot is accompanied by an electronic soundtrack consisting of the beeps of payment systems. The custom track was developed by sonic branding agency Sixième Son, which previously developed the brand’s audio identity.

“We know how critical music is for platforms like TikTok, and saw an opportunity to be more playful with our sonic identity to breakthrough and resonate with our target,” said Choi. “The voice that says ‘How would you like to pay?’ was another layer in bringing the vision to life, while also laddering back to the overall objective of the campaign to drive consideration among the target.”

And we quote: “We know this season brings heightened financial stress with it, and that the brand purpose of Interac—to help Canadians get more out of life by using their own money—may be more relevant than ever. Our hope is to inspire more shoppers to shop with confidence this holiday, whatever that looks like for them.” — Daria Hill, vice president, marketing and communications, Interac

Chris Powell