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Battle of the Mortgage Campaigns: CIBC vs ING Direct

Welcome back to the Bank Battle Series: Best Mortgage Campaign. The tournament has seen Scotiabank and RBC advance to the second round so far. The purpose of this Bank Battle is simple – the best mortgage campaign wins. Each competitor will be measured with their latest mortgage ad video available on the web.

Why is this important? There are 5.7 million home owners in Canada representing over a trillion dollars in mortgage business. We are evaluating the latest attempt of each bank to capture market share because mortgage interest is profitable business and more dollars are being put into it every year by house-hungry consumers.

Note: The last time these two banks squared off, it was in the finals of our Mortgage Calculator Battle.


The Challenger in the blue corner: The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), based out of Toronto, Ontario.

The Challenger in the red corner: ING Direct by way of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Video Campaigns

CIBC’s Marketing Theme:

“Switch Your Mortgage”


ING Direct’s Marketing Theme:


“The Un-mortgage”


CIBC: We found CIBC’s TV spot “Switch your mortgage”, short and sweet. Their message was clear and well-targeted. We reviewed CIBC cash back mortgages earlier this year and discovered they had some of the best cash back products available to consumers, including the only variable ratecash back mortgage in the market. So, with that in mind, it was clear that they were looking to gain mortgage consumers by drawing them away from their competitors using their cash back mortgages (to cover the mortgage penalties associated with leaving their current mortgage plan). We applaud their strategy. The best way to gain market share is to effectively take your competitors customers.

We included the mortgage ad from 1984 for our own amusement. There’s nothing wrong with the ad, it was fine for its time; we just don’t see commercials like that anymore today. Plus, who doesn’t love the 80s?

ING DIRECT: The point of both their television ads came across quickly which was this: Paying off your mortgage doesn’t have to take forever. ING employed the angle of “mortgage freedom” to appeal to the public. What mortgage freedom refers to is the reduction of mortgage principal through prepayment options, which in turn shortens the amortization period of your mortgage. Ergo, the quicker you pay off your mortgage, the closer you approach mortgage freedom and ING Direct provides the means to do so. The best part of “slow-motion”ad? The actors were really moving in slow-mo.


Both ads were effective and well-targeted. The question is, can they back it up with great mortgage interest rates? Let’s take a look at how their current 5-year fixed rates and 5-year variable rates stack up:

*Rates taken October 11,2011


This was another close battle between CIBC and ING Direct. These banks might be the Yankees-Red Sox of our Bank Battle Series’. ING has the better mortgage rates with up to 25% prepayment options, something most banks don’t offer, but CIBC has one of the best cash back mortgages on the market (including a variable cash back mortgage) which they wisely chose to incorporate to switch customers over. We loved both television spots, but someone had to come out on top. After many debates among, the winner is…