Scotiabank follows newcomer-focused ‘First Day’ with a ‘Perfect Day’

Who: Scotiabank, with Rethink for strategy and creative; R&D Productions for production (directed by Justin Singer); Darling VFX and Vapor Music for post-production; PHD for media.

What: “Perfect Day,” a national campaign supporting the bank’s StartRight program, which was launched in 2008 to help newcomers settle in Canada by providing one year of free banking products and services. The campaign is a follow-up to last year’s “First Day.”

When & Where: The campaign is in market now, anchored by a 30-second cinema and YouTube spot running in English, French and Hinglish—a mix of Hindi and English. It’s being supported by out-of-home and social.

Why: Scotiabank’s goal is to provide what Rethink described as a “sincere, authentic and fresh perspective” on the Canadian experience for newcomers while also showing the vital role it can play in helping them get established in their adopted country.

It was inspired by the consumer response to Scotiabank’s 2022 campaign, which led to hundreds of Canadians sharing their own story about moving to Canada.

A prevailing theme among those responses was that people come to Canada to provide a better future for their children, and often go out of their way to shield their children from their own post-arrival hardships and struggles—such as finding a job, going back to school, and otherwise struggling to make ends meet. Those aspects of the immigrant experience are explored in the new spot.

“Last year the goal was really to establish Scotiabank as a bank that leads with empathy and [provide] newcomers with personal advice,” said Rethink copywriter Jenai Kershaw. “They wanted to continue with that this year, and were great in giving us the reins to take the story in a new direction and show how they’re a lifelong partner for newcomers.”

How: The anchor ad focuses on a Canadian newcomer leaving a voicemail for her mother back home. Over visuals of her daughter thriving in her new home, she explains how they’re finding life in their new country. The spot concludes with the mom sitting down to a stack of books at the kitchen table, and telling her mother to call when she wakes up, because she’ll still be studying.

According to Rethink, the spot’s visuals were carefully created to convey the idea that every new Canadian is working towards something that’s deeply important to them. The people in the spot are an actual mother and daughter who recently arrived in Canada, and they brought some of their own personal mementos to the set (including jewellery, photos and toys) to make it feel more authentic.

“We really wanted to show the juxtaposition of this little girl’s absolutely perfect life, with the kicker that she can only live this life because the mom is putting in the work to study while also going to work,” said art director Kennedy Choi.

The video is being supported by a series of out-of-home and social posts featuring real first-generation Canadians who have been photographed in places representative of their journey, such as their home or a favourite restaurant. The visuals are accompanied by a piece of financial advice that they would give themselves upon first arrival. According to Rethink, the advice is meant to feel like anecdotes rather than ad headlines to better connect with a range of new Canadians.

And we quote: “Arriving in a new country is only the beginning of the journey. The post-arrival experience is really what shapes the foundation for the new lives that parents hope to build for their children. Our intention was to create work that feels true to that lived experience.” — Kesi Olafimihan, vice-president of Canadian banking marketing and enterprise digital growth, Scotiabank



Chris Powell