Creative in association withGear Seven

An Experienced Source Offers New Canadians Some Advice with Scotiabank

Advertising Agency
Toronto, Canada
'First Day' campaign from Rethink offers new Canadians banking advice from someone who has been in their position

Relocating to Canada can be overwhelming. Newcomers often find themselves alone in unfamiliar surroundings with strange terms and different social rules. They’re introduced to new bank brands, all of which have a different name and colour, but similar websites and storefronts.

In its latest campaign aimed at new Canadians, Scotiabank is introducing ‘First Day’ as the antidote to bank communications that seems to talk at newcomers, rather than talking to them about their struggles, worries and goals. Because the best person to give new Canadians advice is someone who was in their shoes.

Launched in support of Scotiabank’s StartRight program — which offers new Canadians a year of cost-free products, services and tailored advice to start their banking journey and life in their new home — ‘First Day’ captures real financial and life advice that immigrant Canadians would give themselves if they could go back to their first day in Canada. From digital ads, to billboards and bus ads, Scotiabank tapped real Canadians to highlight the advice they wished they’d received about life and banking in this country. The :60s spot, airing on TV and in cinemas, is inspired by a collection of real immigration stories from real Canadians.

“There’s no advice as helpful as the kind you could have given yourself on your first day in Canada,” said John Rocco. “The advice of those who made Canada home years ago is being used to help the next generation of new Canadians.” 

‘First Day’ was imagined by a team of creatives, directors, and editors who connect with the new Canadian story. Having a team who pulled from their experience was important, as most advertising directed towards newcomers features a sea of similar, stock video-driven work that depicts the immigration journey as stress-free. In reality, there are mixed emotions when moving to Canada: from fear to gratitude to nostalgia about a life left behind. To stand out, Scotiabank is tapping into lived experiences.

The spot has many hidden details that pay homage to immigration stories of the people that worked on this campaign — including real photos and personal items: including the exact sweater the lead actor wore on the plane the first time he came to Canada.

“We know that every bank can offer Canadians financial support,” said John Rocco. “What makes Scotiabank different is a desire to truly understand our customers, allowing us to provide personalised advice to help newcomers start off on the right foot. We hope this campaign highlights our desire to listen, instead of speaking first.”