CI Investments hits the links to build top-of-mind awareness

A TV-only campaign for golf fans

CI Investments is targeting golf fans in its latest round of advertising, hoping they’ll think about the financial services brand the next time they revisit their portfolio.

CI is running two lighthearted television ads over the course of the golf season to “celebrate the avid golf fan who is as driven and as passionate about golf as they are investing for their retirement,” says Bill Roberts, senior account planner at Groundzero, the agency that came up with the 30-second television spots.

While most investment ads appear during RRSP season at the start of the year, CI wanted to do some of its marketing during the summer golf season, when it believes it would have a more focused, captive audience.

“CI’s target really meshes perfectly with the golf viewer,” said Groundzero creative director Bill Keenan. “It’s people who are a little older, in their 40s and 50s, who are affluent and love golf. Those are the kind of people they’re interested in.”

CI is Canada’s largest independent asset-management company, with about two million investors and more than $100 billion in assets under management.

While investors can’t buy CI funds directly (they need to go through a financial advisor), Keenan said the purpose of the ads is to keep the brand top of mind. The goal is to motivate investors to speak to their financial advisor about CI products.

“If the financial advisor said to an investor: ‘We should put you into CI,’ we want the investor to go ‘CI, yeah, I’ve heard of them,’” said Keenan, whose company has worked with CI since 2011.

The commercials will run on TSN and other networks that air golf programming, such as the PGA Championships now underway in the U.S.

One commercial is a “comic opera” around the idea of the frustrated golfer, showing clubs and other golf items being tossed into the air. It ends with “you’ve got your whole retirement to find your game.” The second is a play on how golfers mark their balls so they can pick them out on the course, which is meant to salute the individual investor.

Keenan said it’s one of the few modern-day campaigns that doesn’t include other media such as social media, online or print advertising. That’s because it’s focused on the golf fan, who likely spends more time playing and watching golf than tweeting about it.

“In this particular case, TV is the way to go. It’s far more effective,” Keenan said.

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