Amplify your business

Services (SILVER)
Brand Content (BRONZE)

Client Credits: ATB Financial
ATB Financial - Carol Shmygol, Head of Marketing & Brand
ATB Financial - Sonu Jaswal, Director, Marketing
ATB Financial - Siobhan Owen, Marketing Co-ordinator

Agency Credits: ATB Financial
ATB Channel 21 - Dennis Lenarduzzi, Creative Director
Patton Communications - Carolyn Patton, Creative Director
Joe Media - Ryley Burghall, Director
Joe Media - Claudia Neff, Producer
Joe Media - Barry Berona, Director of Photography
Writer, Artist, Entrepreneur - Beni Johnson
ATB Channel 21 - Ramzi Sarieddine, Art Director
ATB Channel 21 - Jacquie Comer, Copywriter
Bluefish Studios - Darren Jacknisky, Photographer
Creative Agency - ATB Channel 21
Video Production company - Joe Media
Creative Agency - Patton Communications
Photography - Bluefish Studios
Media Agency - Vovia
Vovia - Heather Ilsley, Planner/Account Director
Vovia - Steve Bayona, DSP Specialist
Vovia - Dan Dryfhout, Paid Social Specialist
Vovia - Renu Deswal, GDM & SEM Specialist
Vovia - Julien Rouisse, Analytics Specialist
Vovia - Andrea Gibson, Account Manager


Business Results Period (Consecutive Months):9
Start of Advertising/Communication Effort: October 18, 2016
Base Period as a Benchmark: October 18, 2015 - June 30, 2016
Geographic Area: Alberta, Canada.
Budget for this effort: $200,000 - $500,000

Why should this case win in the category (ies) you have entered?
As a regional Financial Institution limited to Alberta, we're in an industry dominated on one side by large national well-entrenched banks with dominant awareness and spending power, and on the other by upstart fintechs aimed at disrupting the business.

Despite a smaller share of voice, we listened to our target of small to mid-sized Alberta entrepreneurs (served by our Business & Agriculture or B&Ag division).

This enabled us to launch the Amplify Business campaign which created a connection that's increased our presence with 4,397 relationships valued at $6.2 million, achieving an ROI of $15.02, exceeding awareness/video view targets by 339%. We also saw in our annual Alberta Business Survey awareness among non-customers is up by 10% from last year (survey extract attached).

The creative execution is authentic, unexpected and speaks to an entrepreneur at a deeply emotional level. At the core it is a platform for entrepreneurs to share their voice.

The campaign has 5 videos; the “amplify anthem” and four supporting entrepreneur stories based on the characteristics common across entrepreneurs; courage, tenacity, ingenuity and reinvention. The creative links to our overall value proposition to the target, comprised of the Entrepreneur Centres, expertise and free banking for start ups.

Using spoken word as a vehicle, we were able to give the entrepreneur a voice which, due to the raw nature of the message, served as a rallying cry to what it means to be an entrepreneur. We were also able to extend that platform to four unique businesses that were able to share their stories with their peers. This way, we were able to identify a sentiment that inspires, challenges, celebrates and seeks to understand entrepreneurship in a way no other financial institution has. The creative generated impressive results pre and post media buy and is directly responsible for generating over 374 business leads, spiking our web traffic over the duration of the campaign from October 18, 2016 to June 30, 2017.

We also backed the message of this campaign with content-rich executions like entrepreneurs of Alberta social media stories, decals/digital wallpapers, a monthly educational newsletter, charity donation cards for sales staff to gift to clients and educational guides to start/grow a business.

The campaign lives here:

a) Describe the Client’s business, competition and relevant history:

ATB Financial is a full-service regional financial institution committed to serving Alberta with strong focus on entrepreneurs with a dedicated banking division - ATB Business & Agriculture. We were founded 79 years ago to serve Alberta's entrepreneurs because other banks would not. 

We see that entrepreneurs continue to be underserved by financial institutions. Our competitors make assumptions and decisions from head offices outside of Alberta, while we are here, living through the same conditions as the Albertans we serve. Where entrepreneurs are penalized for having messy financials when it comes to personal services like getting a mortgage (i.e. entrepreneurs tend to show a low income on their T4), we realize that an entrepreneur’s business and personal finances are intertwined and need a 360-degree view applied to their banking needs. There's an opportunity for ATB to go beyond what others would do to become the bank for entrepreneurs.

Our competition have deeper wallets and bottom lines, so we need to be more nimble and more insightful in how we relate to and serve Albertans. For us to truly be the bank of the entrepreneur we know it goes far beyond money or just their business. It’s about helping them further their personal goals as well as their business goals, providing a whole array of education, conversation and solutions to support their journey. It’s also about strengthening connections between entrepreneurs within their ecosystem.

With that we've reconstructed our value proposition for entrepreneurs which is based in access, expertise and education. Accordingly, we've built Entrepreneur Centres focused on helping entrepreneurs take their business idea to reality, providing free education and strategy sessions to all entrepreneurs that come through the door. We also have an accelerator program to expedite business growth along with crowdfunding and crowdlending platforms for alternative financing options. January 2016 we kicked off free banking for all start up businesses. 

b) Describe the Client’s Business Issues/Opportunities to be addressed by the campaign:

The opportunity is in communicating our commitment towards entrepreneurs, putting a bow around our value proposition/offerings, while acquiring new leads to continue to grow our share of wallet. There's also opportunity to break through the sameness of messaging a bank typically provides to create a clear emotional connection, follow it up with insight and then provide opportunities for action.

c) Resulting Business Objectives: Include how these will be measured:

Primary Goal #1 – Generate awareness through video views

  • 30,000 views of the Anthem video within the first month and 100,000 views within the first six months, as well as 40,000 views of each individual entrepreneur video. The total video view goal for the five videos in the campaign was 260,000 in six months.

Primary Goal #2 – Foster connection through website conversions

  • 100 conversions that indicated interest or action to bank with ATB each month, for a total of 600 over the campaign. For this goal we focused on conversion points on the campaign landing page. Specifically:
    • Form Submissions
    • Clicks on “Get Free Business Banking”
    • Clicks on “Grow Your Business”
    • Add to Carts
    • Live Chat Clicks
    • Video Starts (This was the entire 2:30 cut of the video instead of the 0:15 or 0:30 teasers that were running)
    • Facebook Lead Generation Form Submission

Primary Goal #3 – Acquisition/Lead generation

  • This overlaps with goal #2 but we specifically wanted to focus on measuring relationships acquired by ATB through the online lead generation tools, as well as linking spikes in relationships acquired during the campaign period back to the campaign as appropriate. 
  • For ATB an average entrepreneur client in their first year will carry deposits of $23,000, loans of $20,000 and contribute $1,420 in operational income to ATB. We'll use these numbers to calculate ROI.  


These goals were identified at the start of the campaign, but they did not have quantifiable metrics attached to them. Therefore, we did not optimize the campaign towards them, but their performance was evaluated in terms of how they were able to support our primary goals.

  • Drive awareness and interest in the Entrepreneur Centres – measured by efficient CTR for our display campaigns. We also reported on conversions directly driven by this channel (not assisted conversions).
  • Assist ATB in their positioning of being the Bank of the Entrepreneur – For this goal we measured engagement on social channels as demonstrating that the message was resonating with the audience. 


a) What new learnings/insights did you uncover?

Our learnings & insights:

  1. This campaign wasn’t about ATB, it was about the entrepreneur. Any asset created had to be a reflection of what we’ve heard, their voice.
  2. When a person becomes an entrepreneur, they are amplifying their personal hopes and dreams. They are also amplifying the lives of their employees, the vibrancy of the communities they serve and the economic engine of this province. Entrepreneurs have a lonely road, but their journey impacts everyone around them. They are highly aware of this responsibility.
  3. Entrepreneurs come from all walks of life with differing reasons behind choosing this journey, but they are all unified in the commitment and devotion to their business. One of our clients put it well when she said, "I'm my father's child, but his business will always be his baby".
  4. This commitment and devotion creates a connective tissue that binds entrepreneurs together in a tight ecosystem. For us to be a part of this ecosystem, we need to support the connectivity between entrepreneurs through platforms that amplify their story, their voice. Create that platform, and get out of the way.
  5. Entrepreneurship is rarely depicted accurately. It’s not about the Ferrari, Centurion Amex and “I made it” vibe. There is no destination, it’s always a journey. The journey is gritty, raw, emotional. Entrepreneurship isn’t about freedom and free time, it’s binding, sleep is a mirage, no time with loved ones, and a 9-to-5-to-9 that would put insomniacs to shame. We brought this reality to the forefront through this campaign and promise.
  6. Entrepreneurs hate banks. Banks make them feel defensive about their business dream, boil their worth down to a number on a piece of paper, tell them how to be without listening or understanding their journey. The most stressful relationship is that with their banker. We wanted to change that, which is why we created services and touchpoints that were different.

b) What was your Big Idea?

Amplify the entrepreneur message. Emotionally connect through spoken word and imagery that captures their lives. Spoken word provided the platform, our ‘talent” entrepreneur Beni Johnson was our voice (and writer). Our own clients provided the visual backdrop. Attach our entrepreneur value proposition to the creative, provoking action. 

c) How did your Communication strategy evolve?

Our communication strategy evolved after the creation of the main Amplify video based on the piece created by entrepreneur Beni Johnson. The power of the spoken word was so well received that we were able to extend the message into other communication vehicles, from online ads to trade-show banners, to giveaways based on the messages shared by our entrepreneurs.  

d) How did you anticipate the communication would achieve the Business Objectives?

This was a very bold campaign due to the authenticity. Our expectations were that it would be powerful and meet the targets set out above that were measurable through the digital space in a way that campaigns prior had not done. We were confident in reception because we kept the creative authentic to our audience, integrating entrepreneurs every step of the way. The services this campaign drove to were also created from listening to our target to understand how we could deliver better service to them.

Section IV — THE WORK
a) How, where and when did you execute it?

We launched the Amplify anthem video October 18, 2016 over small business week celebrations across Alberta. We executed a strategic digital media buy, leveraging networking event opportunities to show the video, creating supporting signage and give-aways and also taking advantage of a one off cinema media insertion. The remaining videos launched in the following weeks The majority of this campaign had a digital/social media focus.

We layered on content-rich executions like entrepreneurs of Alberta social media stories, decals/digital wallpapers, a monthly educational e-newsletter, charity donation cards for sales staff to gift to clients and educational guides. We leveraged the #amplifybusiness to unify social activities. We also deployed static digital ads that promoted key offerings like the Entrepreneur Centres and free banking for startups.

c) Media Plan Summary

The media strategy focused on reaching Alberta entrepreneurs where/when they consume media while supporting the goals of acquisition and completed video views. Our attribution model showed that this audience visits the site multiple times before converting so we needed channels that would support the customer journey but still drive performance. Therefore, the channel mix included Paid Social, DSP, Paid Search, and Display with the weight based on how well each channel could support either lead generation or completed video views.

 We leveraged targeting layers for geography, demographics, interests and affiliations, behaviour, remarketing, and device type. Creative and messaging was continually tested during the campaign and the Entrepreneur videos were rotated into the buy at intervals to minimize the chance for creative fatigue.

 All media was bought on a click or view basis to ensure media efficiency and higher viewability standards and the buy was continuously optimized to actions on the website, with a focus on leads or completed video views. See attachments for blocking chart.

a) How did the work impact attitudes and behaviour?

There was a positive impact on attitudes and behavior. Internally we saw:

  • Understanding the changing face of entrepreneurship in Alberta 
  • Understanding that emotional connection far supersedes a transactional (or product based) connection. In fact, an emotional connection will lead to business results. 
  • Understanding of the journey of an entrepreneur, allowing our teammates to better serve their needs.

 Externally we saw:

  • ATB become known for its commitment to entrepreneurs. Services like the Entrepreneur Centre booked up for appointment with events every night. The Alberta Business Survey (conducted for ATB by an indepdendent firm) shows an increase in awareness by 10% and consideration to bank by 5% over the last year with non-customers. (see attached).
  • Standing ovations for the creative.
  • Social media - within the first 7 days over 22K in video views before advertising spend kicked in.

b) What Business Results did the work achieve for the client?

Compared against our initial goals in section II, we exceeded the awareness, connection and acquisition results for the client. Each element can be broken down as follows:

Awareness - Video Views

Our initial goal was 260,000 completed video views and the campaign exceeded the goal by 323% with a total of 1,098,755 completed views at a cost per completed view of $0.02. The majority of our views were user-initiated and we only count a view if the user watched the entire video.

Foster Connection - Website Actions

While our primary goal was new business leads, we also measured website actions on the landing page. A conversion was considered to be anyone who completed one of the following actions on the landing page:

  • Form Submissions
  • Get Free Banking Button Clicks
  • Grow Your Business Button Clicks
  • Add to Carts
  • Live Chat Clicks
  • Calls
  • Facebook Lead Generation Form Completion
  • Video Starts for the Amplify Video

Our initial goal was 600 website actions and we exceeded this goal by 188% with 1727 total website actions. We only count last-click conversions that came directly from our campaign. If a channel assisted in bringing someone to the page, but they converted on a subsequent non-paid visit, they are not included in the numbers above. The campaign received an additional 698 assisted conversions from paid sources with Google Search driving 48% of all assisted conversions reinforcing its importance in the media mix.

 Social Engagements

The campaign resonated on a variety of social channels through both paid and organic posts. Over the campaign timeframe, social engagements totalled 7853 (6290 paid + 1,563 organic). Of note, the initial Facebook post of the anthem generated 28.3K views, 368 shares & 356 reactions (likes). The engage : share ratio indicates that those who liked the post chose to share it amongst their networks.

Website traffic

During the campaign period, visits to the business section of the website increased by 39% relative to the business results period from the year prior.

Lead Generation – Online forms 

We generated 374 leads through our online lead generation forms. 152 can be considered successful with the remainder in varied states of progress (typically entrepreneur relationships take months to close and convert to sale).  We can expect $216,000 in operational income driven through $3.4 million in deposits and $2.97 million in loans year 1. See attached for more on #'s.

Acquisition - New Relationships to ATB

During the campaign period 32,047 entrepreneur relationships were started with ATB. Compared to the same period the year prior, this is a year over year increase of 4,245 relationships during a time frame within which the main campaign in market was amplify. Other campaigns did not compete for the same audience and our front line sales contracted in size. We can safely attribute these growth to the amplify campaign. We can expect $6.02 million in operational income contributed from these accounts. See attached for more on #'s.

c) Other Pertinent Results


d) What was the campaign’s Return on Investment?

We spent $188,205 on all campaign assets (video production, give-aways & photography), and $201,433 in media spend (including services).

We generated 374 leads (152 closed) and 4,245 new entrepreneur accounts. This will contribute $6.2MM in operational income to ATB over the first year. From a pure acquisition perspective, our ROI can be calculated as $15.02 in operational income return for every dollar invested. See section II, c for clarity on these numbers.

The social results reporting attached only focused on measuring #amplifybusiness across all channels. The posts where the # was not used these were not picked up in the reporting, but are significant especially with mediums like Facebook, where # are not commonly used in reporting. For Facebook we’re attaching a sample of the first organic post within this section.

Section VI — Proof of Campaign Effectiveness
a) Illustrate the direct cause and effect between the campaign and the results

The campaign presented many touchpoints for access - lead gen forms, appointments booked at our Entrepreneur Centres, phone number - information which was exclusive to the Amplify campaign pages.

We are confident in the campaign's direct contribution to results because of the detailed measurement approach taken. The last-click attribution model ensures that we are only taking credit for results that were directly driven by the campaign. Each channel and creative was tagged with a unique code that allowed us to not only understand the impact of the campaign, but the efficiency of the channel and creative unit.  

b) Prove the results were not driven by other factors
Campaign spend vs. history and competition:

Our campaign spend was consistent with prior years within the entrepreneur space, however this year was a new approach. This year we invested into a single campaign vs fragmenting our efforts, created trackable lead gen opportunities and built a creative that would extend across our larger entrepreneur value proposition and ask the entrepreneur to take action.

Because this was a new approach for ATB, there is no prior year campaign history for comparison; however, when comparing website traffic during the campaign period to the Business section of the website to the year prior, traffic was 39% higher during the campaign period. Year over year accounts opened prior to the campaign period was 27,802 business accounts. During the campaign period it was 32,047. Given that we had the free banking offer in market for 2016 and 2017, the only fluctuation to these numbers would have occurred from the elements of this campaign. 

Pre-existing Brand momentum:

We did have other campaigns in market at the same time; however, our primary audience for each campaign was different and we leveraged a sophisticated targeting strategy for each campaign to maximize media efficiency with the target audience and minimize message overlap. Additionally, the measurement approach ensures that conversions driven from other campaigns are not counted in our results. 

Looking at total website traffic, the brand campaign that was in market at the same time increased year over year traffic by 18% but the business section of the site had an increase of 39%, outperforming the brand campaign by 120%.


Pricing on accounts and services remained static, and the most compelling offer (free banking for start ups) had been in market since January 2016, negating the impact of the offer on these results. The Entrepreneur Centres launched April 2016, and this campaign was the only promotional vehicle used well after the initial excitement of the centres had tapered. 

Changes in Distribution/Availability:


Unusual Promotional Activity:


Any other factors: