RBC’s Bank to School is back again with Road Scholar

Larry Jacobs hits the road with student-focused campaign

RBC’s YouTube video series that saw a high-level bank executive go “back to school” to live like a student last year is back. “Bank to School 2 – Road Scholar” rolled out this week – a 12-week national campaign timed to coincide with the lead-up to the school year.

Last year’s student-focused series garnered over 200,000 views and plenty of clickthrough engagement, according to the bank. Just like last year, the new series stars somewhat bewildered but keen non-actor Larry Jacobs (RBC’s head of marketing for personal financing products) as he goes to visit students from disciplines as varied as dentistry and construction across the country.

There are new tweaks to the series this year, Jacobs told Marketing. Last year, videos showed him engaged in tasks students have to deal with — living on a $10-a-day budget, racing to buy books and other stunts designed to mimic a reality show format.

“This year, it’s more about direct student engagement,” he says. Rather than put himself in students’ shoes, “we’re making sure that we showcase voices of the students,” albeit with the same sense of humour. A 3-minute spot puts Jacobs in a dentist’s chair, on a kinesiologist’s treadmill and inside a lacrosse goal net — the criteria seemed to be any discipline that involved awkward equipment or physical situations — as he queried students about what features they want from a bank.

Shorter 15-second vignettes showcase products such as Interac flash payments and purchase protection.

Once again, the campaign comes from Toronto-based agency Entrinsic. Aside from four online videos and social media engagement, it includes out-of-home and print ads in transit and commuter newspapers.

“The message of ‘Bank to School’ remains the same,” Jacobs said, mentioning the “need to continue to demonstrate our commitment to understanding students better. Students are an audience we need to break through to. They consume media differently from traditional audiences. This is an opportunity for us to be where they are.”

The roughly two million post-secondary students across the country are a priority segment for RBC, he says. “They’re incredibly important not only for the future but today. They are in financial transition, but they actively transact, they make payments, they save. They borrow to finance their education.”

As would be expected, preroll videos used Google analytics to identify key content that students would already be watching. YouTube videos also make use of overlay comments to embed links to additional content such as an RBC contest.

The online videos debuted July 15 with the full campaign kicking off June 16. It runs until September 30.

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