Questrade’s mission to help Canadians dream the impossible

Who: Questrade, with No Fixed Address for strategy, creative and media; Animals for production (directed by Mindcastle); School Editing, Alter Ego, Wingman VFX and Grayson Music for post-production.

What: “Take Hold of Tomorrow,” an integrated brand campaign that speaks directly to millennial investors about how the online brokerage can help them attain their seemingly impossible dreams. It marks an evolution in the brand’s marketing, moving beyond simply challenging traditional financial institutions to instead inspiring Canadians to take control of their finances to unlock their future goals.

When & Where: The campaign launched just ahead of RSP season on Dec. 26, running across TV, social, digital, and out-of-home (including a two-month domination at the intersection of Yonge and Bloor streets in Toronto). It also includes TikTok, which has emerged as a leading search engine for younger generations.

Why: Aimed primarily at younger investors, the campaign acknowledges that the things previous generations took for granted—such as owning a home, paying for a child’s post-secondary education, or a comfortable retirement—can feel unattainable in these inflationary times. But with Questrade’s help, they don’t have to be.

“Right now there’s real angst, among millennials in particular, who feel that the generations that came before them had opportunities to accumulate wealth that they don’t have,” said NFA creative director Tim Kavander of the campaign’s creative approach. “They’re putting a lot of their life on hold. Things that most Canadians 20 years ago felt was their birthright feel like they’re off the menu for millennials, and that a lot of these dreams are out of their grasp.”

Previous generations largely entrusted the big banks to help them realize their financial goals but modern times require modern tools like Questrade, added Stella Ladizhinksy, Questrade’s director of brand and marketing strategy.

“We wanted to bring in a sense of optimism and hope, and to empower Canadians to believe that their financial future is in their hands,” she said. “It’s not up to the financial institutions [so much] as it is Canadians, but more importantly that Questrade is the platform that will help get you there.”

How: The campaign is anchored by a 60-second brand spot depicting a group of Canadians contemplating future scenarios that require a degree of financial planning, opening with a young woman dreaming of a trip to Italy, while others ponder similar financial challenges like buying a home, sending a child to university and planning for retirement.

The spot features shots of people using Questrade to help navigate their finances, followed by a super reading “Getting ahead isn’t impossible. What’s possible is entirely up to you.” It  concludes by returning to the opening shot of a woman dreaming of Italy as she flings open the curtains to reveal a stunning European vista, accompanied by the “Take Hold of Tomorrow” tagline.

It is being supported by a series of four 30-second product spots that focus on the individuals depicted in the hero ad to show how Questrade can help them achieve their seemingly impossible dreams.

The song: The lead spot is soundtracked by a moody version of “The Impossible Dream (The Quest),” the principal song in the musical Man of La Macha. It was recorded by Rachel Park, a classically trained soprano based in Vancouver, who beat out nearly one dozen other singers for the role.

“We wanted to take an old song that lyrically really denoted the angst we’re talking about, and how millennials are feeling,” said Kavander. “When you listen to what those lyrics are saying, it’s that while things may feel dark and a little ominous, there is light at the end of the tunnel if you persevere.”

And we quote: “In response to the financial challenges and opportunities in today’s climate, this evolution of our brand campaign focuses on value creation through lower fees for better returns and empowering Canadians through education—inspiring them to think differently in order to take control and achieve those seemingly impossible dreams.” — Stella Ladizhinksy, director of brand and marketing strategy, Questrade


Chris Powell