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Canadian and U.S. Retail Bank Advertising Are Equally Effective With Invoking A Market Response, But For Different Reasons

January 6, 2015

Phoenix’s brand and advertising research shows that Print and TV advertising in Canada and the U.S. for retail bank products and services differ in terms of market staying power (recall) and the creative attribution that successfully connects with retail banking consumers.

Rhinebeck, NY  – Phoenix Marketing International, one of the fastest growing research companies in the U.S., announced today initial findings from recent studies among Canadian and U.S. retail banking customers. These studies have been administered since 2005 and poll awareness, consideration, and evaluation of numerous retail banks operating across Canada and the states. These studies also identify the most successful brand advertising targeting retail banking customers and provide a new understanding as to why some ads succeed while others fail.

Advertising tested between August and October 2014 shows that TV ads have much higher staying power than Print media, measured by a larger share of consumers reporting prior recall of TV media, and this is especially true for Canadian TV ads that are twice as likely to be recalled as TV ads airing in the states. Canadian and U.S. advertising shows similar overall response or success with influencing consumers to seek more information about the brand and/or to complete one or more revenue generating activities such as opening a new account.


Where Canadian and U.S. retail bank ads differ is how well their advertising positively impacts market perception of the advertised brand i.e. enhancing consumers’ overall impression and consideration (Persuasion). Looking at TV media, U.S. retail bank ads hold an advantage over Canadian ads when it comes to improving consumers’ perception of the advertised brand.


US Canada TV Persuasion


So what drives successful TV advertising for retail banks in Canada and in the states? The above chart shows that Canadian TV advertising is more effective with its ability to Breakthrough advertising “clutter” with ads that are Clever, Entertaining, Humorous, and Unique. Canadian ads do reasonably well on more Cognitive attributes such as Believable, Clear, Informative, Meaningful, and Spoke Directly To Me. TV advertising in the states is viewed as more Impactful and  Relevant to consumers’ needs, and successful with connecting to retail banking consumers using Emotional creative. U.S. shown TV ads are also less likely to demonstrate signs of Wearing Out and perhaps this can be attributed to shorter time in market than TV ads airing in Canada.

With Print advertising, Canadian ads are much more effective with promoting specific brands consumers wish to be associated with (Brand/Imagery), yet U.S. Print ads score higher on Emotional, Relevance, and Impactful attributes. Hence, U.S. Print ads are less likely to show signs of Wearing Out.


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With numerous retail banks operating in Canada and the U.S., the Phoenix studies rank banks with the most effective advertising, taking into account improved brand impression and consideration among retail banking consumers, for both Print and TV media. In Canada, CIBC does best among the five major national banks for both Print and TV media. TD Bank, Scotia Bank, and RBC Royal Bank lag CIBC with TV media, while Bank of Montreal and RBC Royal Bank fall closely behind CIBC with Print media.

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Key Bank, TD Bank, and Wells Fargo lead in the U.S. with both Print and TV media, falling slightly behind Fifth Third Bank that has the most effective TV media. Other brands that also benefit from effective Print and TV advertising include Citibank, PNC, and Regions Bank. Other brands with strong media in one or the other media types include Bank of America, Citizens Bank, HSBC, SunTrust, and US Bank.

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Each quarter the Phoenix studies poll 7,500+ consumers in the U.S. and 1,100+ in Canada about their impression and consideration of numerous brands offering retail bank products and services. A partial list of companies tracked nationally in Canada includes Ally Bank/Resmor Trust Company, Alterna Savings, ATB Financial, BMO Bank of Montreal, Canadian Western Bank, Capital One, CIBC, Coast Capital Savings, Desjardins/Caisse Populaire, Envision Financial, First Calgary Saving, HSBC Bank, ICICI Bank, Laurentian Bank, Manulife Bank, MBNA Canada, National Bank, President’s Choice Financial, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank, Sunlife Financial Group, Tangerine, TD Canada Trust.

Tracked U.S. banks, evaluated in their geographic market footprint, include Ally Bank, Bank of America, BB&T, BBVA Compass, Capital One 360, Charles Schwab Bank, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Deutsche Bank, Emigrant, E*Trade, Fifth Third Bank, Frost Bank, Harris Bank, HSBC, ING/Voya Financial, JP Morgan/Chase, Key Bank, M&T Bank, OneMain Financial, Peoples United Bank, PNC Bank, RBC Bank, Regions Bank, Santander Bank, SunTrust, TD Bank, US Bank, U.S. Trust, USAA Federal Savings Bank, Webster Bank, and Wells Fargo.


Phoenix Contact:

Daniel Rivera

Senior Analyst and Product Manager, Syndicated Research


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