CIBC has big dreams for your five-year plan

Who: CIBC, with Courage for creative and strategy; Spy Films for production; Nimiopere and Alter Ego for post production; Oso Audio for audio; and Essence for media.

What: “5-Year Plan,” a new brand campaign illustrating that the right financial plan can make any ambition achievable. The messaging pulls on themes from the institution’s 2021 rebrand campaign “Ambitions Made Real.

Where & When: The 60-second spot, as well as 30-second, 15-second, and 6-second cutdowns, are being distributed on OLV, social, and digital. A second phase of the campaign will launch in January.

Why: The concept of a five-year plan has long served as a structure to achieve goals over a limited but realistic period. In fact, the timeline has become so widely adopted that the question “where do you see yourself in five years?” is asked by high school guidance counsellors, discerning employers, and curious peers as a way to measure ambitions.

But even if it remains a common timeline for goal-setting, it’s become a stressful question in today’s economy. CIBC wants to change that by highlighting the support of its financial advisors, and digital tools like the mobile banking app, CIBC Goal Planner.

“We want to show Canadians that not only do their ambitions matter deeply to us—but that no matter the size or the time horizon, we’re here to help make them happen, particularly at a time when some Canadians may feel their ambitions are out of reach,” said CIBC’s senior director of brand, Hilary Windrem.

How: The 60-second spot, directed by award-winning Canadian director Omri Cohen, starts with an employer asking a job candidate that key question: “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

The scene then transitions to the candidate standing at the head of a conference table, declaring triumphantly “I see us with a $10 million valuation.” From there, the spot proceeds through a quick-cut montage of different people sharing their diverse five-year ambitions, ranging from business growth and career elevation, to travel plans and relocation—including a brief appearance from brand ambassador and hockey star Connor McDavid, who shares his goal of playing for team Canada.

It then returns to the original job candidate, still sitting in her interview, who says “In five years? Where won’t I be in five years?” with a confident smile. The spot ends with scenes of CIBC financial advisors helping their clients, and the tagline: “Ambitions made real.”

“The word ambition can sometimes seem so big and intimidating,” said Courage’s co-founder and co-CCO Dhaval Bhatt. “What I love about this idea is that it makes it attainable and adds dimension to it with a simple thought provoking question we hear all the time.”

And we quote: “The first step in achieving your dreams is to create a plan…We love this work because it vibrantly places a diverse range of modern-day dreams at its centre.” –CIBC’s senior director of brand Hilary Windrem

Emma Johnston-Wheeler