2016 Winners

BRONZE: Challenger Strategy


Be in the Black

Zulu Alpha Kilo

Despite enjoying near universal brand name recognition, Interac's share of mind had been declining annually, thanks in part to relentless marketing by Visa, Mastercard and American Express. In just a few years, the credit card companies had convinced Canadians that even paying for tiny purchases with a credit card was a good idea. As a result, Canadians have racked up a record amount of debt in recent years.

Interac needed to fight back and define its role in the minds of consumers.

The "Be In The Black" brand platform, created by Zulu Alpha Kilo, launched in the spring of 2014 with the goal of positioning Interac as an ally in financial health. The platform aimed to convince Canadians to pay with Interac Debit instead of buying on credit and racking up debt.

During the holiday period, Interac partnered with retailers such as Cineplex, Pizza Nova and Tim Horton's to stop eager shoppers in their payment tracks. The programs were designed to trump the delayed gratification of credit card rewards with the instant gratification of gifts with purchase. For example, consumers received a free donut at Timmies if they paid with their Interac debit card.

The brand surrounded retailers with outdoor boards that included headlines such as, "Credit cards are a pain in the assets," "Don't borrow from tomorrow" and "Travel points can't help you escape debt."

Interac also provided tools to help people change their behavior. Given that it takes 21 days to break a habit, the brand teamed up with financial reality TV star Gail Vaz-­Oxlade to create "The Interac 21-­Day Challenge" – a video content series to help Canadians wean themselves off credit card addiction. In Quebec, Interac partnered with financial expert Fabien Major.

And, finally, to help Canadians avoid the January blues that come with a huge post-­holiday bill, Zulu Alpha Kilo created the "Have A Merry January" holiday campaign that featured a last-­minute holiday shopper whose imagination runs wild in a toy store. Additional online videos featured a festive Griswold-­like family putting a twist on traditional carols such as "Don't debt the halls with credit follies." The campaign also included OOH, print and digital executions with headlines like "Debt is a real nutcracker" and "You're a foul one, Mr. Debt."

As a result of the campaign, awareness increased by 50% from pre-­launch levels and 9% over the previous year. Interac maintained a top-­of-­mind leadership position in spite of being grossly outspent, with score of 63%, eclipsing its main competitors Visa (57%), MasterCard (52%) and AMEX (49%).

What's more, Interac achieved a 5.47% lift in transactions over the previous year – 265 million more Interac transactions than they did the year before.

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Advertiser: Interac

Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo

CCO: Zak Mroueh

ECD: Ron Smrczek

CD: Jon Webber

ADs: Noel Fenn, Allan Mah, Shawn James, Jonathan Armstrong, Andrea Romanelli, Fiorella Martinez

CWs: Andrew Caie, Sean Atkinson, Jon Taylor, Ron MacDonald, Gabrielle Elliot, Samantha Angus, Evan Wallis, Jacob Pacey

Design director: Omar Morson

Designer: Sherry Dubeau

UX designer: Kezia Payne

Account team: Rob Feightner, Laura Robison, Kait Babin, Winnie Hsiao, Adrian Goodgoll, Maegan Thomas

Strategy team: Emma Brooks, Ebrahim El Kalza

Interac marketing team: Andrea Danovitch, Leslie Vera, Lauren McKay

Agency print producer: Kari Macknight Dearborn, Kate Specer

Broadcast producer: Tara Handley

Production house: zulubot

EP: Shaam Makan

Interactive producer: Neal Owusu

Developer: Justo Tellez

Directors: Melissa Coghlan, Nadine Schwartz, Peter Martin

Production house producers: Melissa Coghlan (zulubot) Michel Korchinski (Adhoc)

DOP: Gurjeet Mann (zulubot), Chris Mably (Adhoc)

Editors: Graham Tucker, Michael Headford (zulubot), Jon Devries (School Editing)

Video post facility/Editing Company: zulubot

Compositor/online: Mark Krupka

Compositor/online: James Andrews/Smith

Audio post facility/music house: Studio 8

Sound and picture colourist/transfer: Alter Ego/Pixel Underground

Audio post facility/music house: Eggplant Audio

Director: Roc Gagliese

Producer: Nicola Treadgold

Engineer: Nathan Handy

Casting director: Shasta Lutz/Jigsaw Casting

Media agency: Media Experts

Media agency team: Lauren Rosenblum, Taylor Guthrie, Jenna Bendavid, Jenna Bendavid, Daniel Mak

For registration inquiries, please contact Ben Soldinger at bsoldinger@brunico.com.
For partnership inquiries, please contact Neil Ewen at newen@brunico.com.