2017 Winners

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Bronze Changing Behaviour


"Be in the Black – Instant Gratification Program"

(Zulu Alpha Kilo)

In recent years, credit cards had begun targeting the small-­‐purchase space and making inroads – a traditional stronghold for Interac. Alongside the threat to its business, this activity also resulted in a hit to the bottom line of merchants. When credit cards are used, it’s not only the customer that pays, but also the merchants via transaction fees charged by the credit cards companies.

Agency Zulu Alpha Kilo set out to bring the equity-building Interac brand platform into small item stores across Canada and provide merchant partners with a transaction-­‐driving program that would encourage their customers to pay with Interac debit instead of credit. The team needed to find a promotional twist on the brand campaign, do it with a budget significantly less than the credit cards spend, and do it quickly.

The objective was to not only prevent further decline in Interac transaction volume, but to drive an increase of 4.65% across all participating merchants versus the previous year. The brand and agency knew that credit cards were getting traction in the small-­‐payment space because of the promise of rewards: a promise, however, that often doesn’t come to fruition given the complexity and restrictive nature of redemption.

With the backbone of the Interac “Be in the Black” campaign being real money, our big idea was to offer real rewards at the point-of-sale in sharp contrast to the illusive credit card rewards. So the team created an instant gratification program that kicked off in January 2016 and tailored incentives to pay with Interac debit to each individual merchant.

For example, there were Cineplex perks where Canadians received a free upsize of their drink or popcorn when they paid with Interac debit. At Pizza Nova, customers paying with Interac debit were offered a free dipping sauce. At the Beer Store, a donation was made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada if customers paid with debit. Tim Horton’s gave a free limited edition Interac donut. And at Sobeys, the team used transaction data from the store’s loyalty program to zero-­‐in on customers who frequently paid for their groceries with credit. Members were then emailed an offer to instantly double their AIR MILES rewards miles on purchases paid with Interac Debit.

Despite a major push from the credit card giants at the same time, customers of participating small merchants shifted their typical payment behaviour in favour of Interac. The Beer Store saw an 8% increase in Interac transactions, Pizza Nova experienced a 5% increase, Sobeys saw a 5% shift from credit to debit for the group of customers that were part of the 12-­‐week offer. At Tim Horton’s, Canadians received 1,356,433 free donuts.

Overall, Canadians chose to use Interac over 140 million more times than they did the previous period. This represented a 5.47% increase in transaction volume for Interac versus the previous year, exceeding the objective by 18%.


Client: Interac Association

Marketing team: Jen Lee, Hizola Toovi

Agency: Zulu Alpha Kilo

CCO: Zak Mroueh

ECDs: Allen Oke, Ron Smrczek

Creative Director: Jon Webber, Ari Elkouby

ACDs: Noel Fenn, Andrew Caie

ADs: Fiorella Martinez, Jamie Mageau, Curtis Denomme, Andrea Romanelli, Mareike Kanning

Ux/Ui Designer: Jon Armstrong

Designer: Omar Morson, Ryan Booth, Mooren Bofill

Writer: Jacob Pacey, Jon Taylor, Samantha Angus, Evan Wallis, Joel Felker, Jerry Brens, Tyler Copoc

Agency Producer: Kate Spencer, Kari Macknight Dearborn, Eileen Smith Interactive

Producer: Sam Leirsch, Ola Stodulska, Neal Owusu

Developer: Justo Tellez

Photographer: Rob Fiocca (Guidebook/Pos)

Event Photographer: Anthony Tuccitto

Digital Imaging: Brandon Dyson

Mac Artist: Andrew Martin

Studio: Greg Heptinstall, Jamie Mooren, Dayle, Pavel Petrycki

Agency Print Producer: Kate Spencer, Kari Macknight Dearborn, Eileen Smith, Elisa Di Nardo

Account Team: Laura Robinson, Winnie Hsiao, Adrian Goodgall, Maegan Thomas

Agency Planner: Emma Brooks, Ebrahim El Kalze

Media Agency: Media Experts

Media Agency Planner: Jenna Bendavid, Rachel Ryan, Lauren Rosenblum, Taylor Guthrie, Mareike Kanning

PR Agency: Hill + Knowlton Strategies

PR Account Team: Fiona Bang, Emilija Businskas

For Ticket Sales
Contact Joel Pinto at 416-408-2300 x650 or jpinto@brunico.com.