BMO cosplays the game at Fan Expo

BMO demonstrated over the weekend that to be the banking brand of gamers, it’s important to look the part.

Sean Frame, BMO’s “gaming relations specialist” and host for its NXT LVL Twitch channel, became BMO’s “Cosplay Banker” at Fan Expo Canada in Toronto. As part of a promotion developed with FCB for Mastercard, Frame wore elaborate costumes of two popular League of Legends characters: Trundle and Poppy.

He worked the floor at the four-day long comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming extravaganza that is considered one of the largest pop culture evens in North America, to direct fans to the BMO booth and raise awareness for a Mastercard promotion that includes a trip to the League Championship Series in Korea.

BMO launched NXT LVL with FCB last year to reach and connect with the large, and growing, video game fan segment. The space is challenging for brands, so BMO was determined to join the game in a truly authentic fashion by finding an employee, Frame, who could talk all things personal finance but, perhaps more importantly, was just as knowledgable about videogames.

More than a year later, NXT LVL is still going strong with Frame appearing on Twitch to play games and talk financial literacy, often with other influential gamers. (The ongoing campaign also won two Gold Lions in Cannes in June, one in Creative Commerce, and one in Social and Influencer.)

Putting Frame in LoL costumes at Fan Expo further shows just how much BMO respects and understands the gaming community and is willing to connect with them in the spaces and channels where many of them are most comfortable.

Similar to the target for NXT LVL, FCB says they hoped to reach gamers 20 to 40 with a special love for League of Legends which has more than 118 million monthly players and is one of the most popular esports (i.e. professionally played video games) in the world.

“This initiative further demonstrates our commitment to meeting the gaming community where they are in new and innovative ways,” said Maja Neable, CMO, personal and business banking, in a release. “Whether it’s launching a Twitch channel or activating at Fan Expo, we’ve learned we can help gamers make real financial progress through authentic human and digital experiences.”

The costumes were hand-crafted by pro cosplay costume designers in Italy and Washington, and included a QR code. When fans took pictures of Frame in costume, they received a “Hextech Chest” key (a big deal in League of Legends, trust us), to open the Hextech chest at the BMO booth for a prize.

“The campaign positions cosplay as a unique outdoor media channel,” said FCB associate creative director, Caleb McMullen.

“‘Cosplay Bankers’ not only proves our fandom, but it also identifies our audience, intercepts their consumer behaviour, and incentivizes visiting our booth, where they’ll learn about BMO’s Mastercard offer that is exclusively relevant to them,” added associate creative director, Hussein Rumaithi.

Cosplay Banker was also promoted through social, digital and out-of-home media including a two-hour co-stream with League of Legends esports star LL Stylish, which eared an audience of more than 58,000 unique viewers.



David Brown