BMO kicks off Women’s World Cup campaign

Who: BMO, with FCB for strategy and creative; Merchant Films for production (directed by Benji Weinstein); 456 Studios, Fort York and Saints for post-production; OSO for sound; and UM for media.

What: “#BMOGrowTheGame,” a Women’s World Cup campaign featuring the recurring BMO banker character (played by Lamorne Morris) and rising Canadian women’s soccer star Julia Grosso, who scored for Canada in the Gold-medal winning game at the Tokyo Olympics.

When & Where: The campaign debuted July 20, the first day of the World Cup, and will run through the tournament on TV and as online / social video and social posts in Canada and the U.S.

Why: Aside from being named the Official North American Bank of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, BMO has long called itself The Bank of Soccer, providing support from the local community level up to the professional ranks.

BMO says it has spent more than $25 million on support for youth soccer across Canada since 2005. It has also been committed to making all sports more inclusive, and has backed efforts supporting greater gender equity in soccer.

“As one of the world’s largest sporting events, the World Cup is the perfect platform to help promote equal opportunities in sport and inspire a new generation of women players, leaders, and coaches to reach their full potential – on and off the field,” said Catherine Roche, chief marketing officer at BMO, when announcing the World Cup sponsorship last month. “Through this partnership we continue to live our purpose, to boldly grow the good in business and life.”

BMO introduced the “#BMOGrowTheGame” platform during the men’s World Cup last year, with ads featuring another Team Canada star, Alphonso Davies.

How: The new campaign retains the look, feel and tone of the Davies campaign, with BMO banker Morris interacting with Gr0sso and young soccer players as he explains how the bank has been providing support to the game and its players. (The U.S. spots focus on Morris with the kids, rather than Grosso.)

FCB produced a large number of different scenes and scenarios from 30-seconds to 15s and shorter cutdowns for social.

“BMO is synonymous with soccer, and we wanted to show up for the Women’s World Cup in a big way,” said Jeremiah McNama, executive creative director and FCB Canada, in a release. “Instead of creating one big spot, we created dozens of content pieces that bring awareness to the women’s game and to one its brightest stars.”

And we quote: “Our purpose, to boldly grow the good in business and life, inspires us to eliminate barriers to inclusion and drive equity in sport. We’re excited to feature the talents of Julia Grosso in our FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign as she inspires generations of players, leaders, and coaches to reach their full potential—on and off the field.” — Catherine Roche, chief marketing officer, BMO

David Brown