Cannes Lions

Shoppable Ornament

FCB TORONTO, Toronto / BANK OF MONTREAL / 2023

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Case Film
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

The Bank of Montreal, known as BMO, is the 8th largest bank in North America, with branches across Canada and the midwest and western US. BMO is committed to the progress and prosperity of small businesses. In 2021, the hardest-hit businesses were predominantly small businesses, with many still working hard to recover a year later. This slow recovery coupled with shrinking holiday shopping budgets due to inflation meant that small business owners were at risk of being left out of this holiday season. As a part of BMO’s commitment to growing the good in business and in life, BMO wanted to hack holiday traditions to ensure that as holiday spending budgets shrink, small businesses are supported.

Idea

For the 2022 holiday season, BMO decided to hack a holiday tradition to show their commitment to small business in a big way: with a tiny catalogue that we called the Shoppable Ornament. BMO used this tiny catalogue as a media vehicle that drove consumers to small businesses who were in need of support. The Shoppable Ornament contained QR codes that led directly to their websites to ensure that as people planned what was going on their trees, gifts from small businesses across North America ended up underneath it.

Strategy

The pandemic hit small businesses the hardest, and many have still not fully recovered. Over one-third of all Canadian businesses cite rising inflation, transportation costs, insurance fees, and costs of materials as obstacles to recovery. For instance, raw material prices soared over 19% between July 2021 and July 2022.1 Navigating increased costs and slimmer profit margins made having the time and funds to promote their business during the holidays even harder. Shoppers also felt the pinch with 60% of North Americans saying they had planned to cut back on 2022 holiday spending due to inflation.2 BMO saw an opportunity to hijack a holiday tradition to ensure that small businesses were supported by reminding shoppers that smaller budgets can still have a big impact if you consider where the gift is from.

https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/220830/dq220830b-eng.htm

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1342643/holiday-season-spending-cut-intention-north-america/

Execution

To help support small business owners during the holiday shopping season, BMO’s Shoppable Ornament turned holiday ornaments into advertising space that put products from these businesses on shoppers’ holiday trees. Each tiny page highlighted products from a different participating business across the clothing, home, beauty, wellness, and food and beverage categories, accompanied by a QR code linking to their website’s product page for purchase. The catalogue’s final page drove to a Pinterest board enabling consumers to explore further gift ideas from all of the participating vendors.

The Shoppable Ornament was distributed at select BMO branches, small businesses, and wherever trees were sold across Canada and the U.S. To build additional awareness, BMO used a mix of owned, earned, and paid channels, including Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Outcome

By hacking a holiday tradition, transforming a tree ornament from a holiday accessory into a new media channel, and getting shoppers to use their smaller holiday shopping budgets to support their community, BMO levelled the playing field and drove digital sales to small businesses.

For Joella Hogan, owner of Yukon Soaps Company, the tiny catalogue had a big impact on her sales. BMO helped her sell out of her products and increased online traffic to her store by 367%, because once the shoppable Ornament was in their hands, small businesses were on consumers’ minds.

Key campaign results:

51 businesses were supported

Over 320 products were highlighted

BMO distributed over 1,000 tiny catalogues

Connected small businesses to 40,000 new customers

Over 35k campaign impressions

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