Why this ScotiaBank ad sucks – and how to make it awesome.

Air travel these days is unpleasant. Long lines, rigid rules, fees for everything. There’s no respect for the traveller anymore. And it seems that ScotiaBank has jumped right on the band wagon with these view obstructing ads plastered all over the windows in Calgary’s airport.

They’re the equivalent of real life pop-up ads. But worse because you can’t close or remove the damn things. So even if you clear security early, and want to sit down for a minute and rest and just enjoy the view – you’ve got to strain your gaze a little to the right or left. Because Scotiabank has dropped giant credit card stickers on the windows.

Now this campaign could have been done much differently. And I think better. The pitch here is for Scotiabank’s air travel rewards card that let’s you earn air miles 4x faster. Great, ties in well with their “you’re richer than you think” tagline. And this is where the opportunity lies. The message about earning points 4x faster is on the escalator. See… Speed. The escalator is faster than walking. And that is not only a literal, experiencial connection to the benefit of the product – it is actually a benefit to anyone travelling through the airport. Who doesn’t want to get to their boarding gate faster? Or to the nearest washroom, if that happens to be the goal.


What would have made this campaign awesome would have been to completely brand one of the two escalators that run side by side though the terminal. Have one run at 4x the speed of the escaltor beside it. Or have it run at 4x the speed of typical walking speed. Now we get it. We get on the ScotiaBank escalator and ZIP we’re travelling 4x faster than everyone else. Makes us feel special. Generates goodwill.

Not like the pseudo-popup ads on the windows. That’s just annoying. About 4x more annoying than an add that isn’t blocking my view.


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