New campaign introduces the bank to California and Colorado
“We’re different from the other big banks,” a BMO banker tells passersby from behind his desk on an airport luggage carousel in a new campaign from the bank and its agencies, FCB Canada and UM.
The lighthearted “Say Hello to BMO” campaign proudly announces the bank’s arrival in California and Colorado following its acquisition of Bank of the West in February.
The campaign showcases BMO’s friendly, human approach to helping customers get ahead financially—all while pointing out how it’s different from the other big U.S. banks.
“BMO looks different—and sounds different—from other banks because it is different,” said Catherine Roche, Chief Marketing Officer at BMO. “Our launch campaign features some of the many tangible benefits of being a BMO customer, and highlights our track record of helping customers and businesses make progress toward their goals.”
The campaign is led by a pair of 30-second TV spots and streaming videos, “Carousel” and “Here Now,” both featuring the BMO banker character. Played by veteran-commercial-actor-turned-sitcom-star Lamorne Morris (New Girl), the banker has been a mainstay of BMO’s marketing for more than four years.
Both spots use a combination of quirky visual humour and amusing dialogue to provide an overview of BMO’s products and services, while informing them how the bank stands apart from its big bank competitors.
“Carousel” features the banker sitting at his desk atop an airport luggage carousel, accompanied by an assortment of BMO-branded items including a suitcase, a kayak, and an ATM. “We made it,” he says, only to be greeted by a man griping about another “big bank” in the market. The narrative of the spot artfully contrasts BMO with other big banks, showcasing everything from the spokesperson’s quirky entrance and the humorous dialogue, to BMO’s unique commitment to rewarding customers for saving.
“Here Now” uses the same lighthearted tone as “Carousel” to educate consumers. It takes place on the street, where a mother and daughter are searching for an ATM. The mother expresses concern about service fees for non-BMO customers, but the BMO banker appears and surprises them with the news that BMO offers more service-free ATMs than the other two largest American banks combined.
Both spots are also running as 15-second cutdowns, supported by a large-scale out-of-home campaign and radio and social ads that convey BMO’s more than 200-year history (“New to California. Not new to banking,” reads one billboard), as well as its top-rated mobile banking, and other customer benefits—including the ability to earn cash rewards for saving each month.
“Our creative features the Help Desk and our spokesperson. For the launch we wanted to do what BMO does best; be lighthearted, friendly, and helpful,” said Jeremiah McNama, Executive Creative Director at FCB. “BMO is the human bank and everything we do mirrors that—from TV to out of home.”
BMO completed its acquisition of San Francisco-based Bank of the West in February, adding its nearly 1.8 million customers and 514 branches across 22 states to its growing North American portfolio.
About 70% of Bank of the West’s deposits are in California, giving BMO a strong position in a market with 40 million people and US$3.1 trillion of GDP, which would rank as the world’s fifth largest economy.
BMO’s launch campaign follows its January naming rights deal for BMO Stadium in Los Angeles and its partnerships with Los Angeles Football Club of the MLS and Angel City FC of the National Women’s Soccer League.
Campaign: Say Hello to BMO
Chief Marketing Officer & Head, Social Impact: Catherine Roche
Head, Brand, Enterprise Social and Content: Jennifer Carli
VP, Managing Director, Brand: Michael Sanders
Senior Manager, U.S. Brand & Sponsorship Advertising: Geoff Hutchinson
Creative Agency: FCB Canada
Chief Creative Officer: Nancy Crimi-Lamanna
Executive Creative Director: Andrew MacPhee & Jeremiah McNama
Associate Creative Director: Josh Haupert & Adam Tuck, Caleb McMullen & Hussein Rumaithi
Broadcast Producer: Anne Marie Martignago
EVP, General Manager: Tracy Little
VP, Client Service Lead: Erin Howes
Group Account Director: Ali Gayowski
Account Executive: Sophia R’Bibo
Chief Strategy Officer: Shelley Brown
Strategy Director: Mary Koerner
Production Company: Merchant Films
Executive Producer: Ian Webb
Line Producer: Andrew Graham
Director: Benji Weinstein
Director of Photography: Bryan Newman
Post Production House: 456 Studios
Colourists: Conor Fisher
Post Production House: Fort Yok
Post Producer: Pallavi Joshi-Firby
VFX Artist: Andrew Rolfe
Producer: Emily Mckay
Editor: Brian Williams
Assistant: Corrine Grans-Wood
Music Director: Daenen Bramberger
Producer OSO: Lauren Dobbie
Media Agency: UM
EVP Client Business Partner: Kate Mateer
VP Client Business Partner: Ryan Hunter
Senior Director, Connection Planning: Katey Gault
Associate Director, Planning: Lauren Klehammer
Social Associate Director: Arturo Valenzuela
Social Account Manager: Cristian Garrido Niloo Sanie
Social Campaign Manager: Sami Le
Social Campaign Manager: Gabrielle Lowe
Associate Director, Addressable Strategy: Darcy Selke
Associate, Addressable Strategy: Nature Kim
Senior Director, Integrated Investments: Boris Pancevic
Director, Integrated Investments: Nancy Asselin
Associate Director, OOH: Chett Foltyn
Senior Account Executive, OOH: Arina Durmic
Assistant Account Executive, OOH: Noelia Perez
SVP, Local Integrated Investment: Lora Mashione
Director, Local Integrated Investment: Matt Ostrowski
Associate, Local Integrated Investment: Debbie Dehnke