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Battle of the Mortgage Campaigns: Scotiabank vs. PC Financial

Welcome to our latest Bank Battle Series where we will compare what the major players in the Canadian banking industry are doing in terms of mortgage campaigns. Our last Bank Battle Series, titled The Mortgage Calculator Battle, saw ING Direct take top price with the best bank mortgage payment calculator. This time we will look to see what each bank is doing to penetrate the $1 trillion Canadian mortgage industry to gain market share. According to CAAMP (Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals), mortgage credit should continue to grow another $80 billion this year. That’s a lot of consumer money looking for mortgages. What will each institution do to attract mortgage dollars their way? Before we crown the “Best Mortgage Ad Campaign”, we need to start eliminating the contenders in head-to-head battles. Let us commence the first bank battle in round 1.


This first battle of the series will be between one of Canada’s biggest banks, Scotiabank versus the clear underdog, the mid-sized bank PC Financial.


Scotiabank Marketing themes:

“Flip the Coin Mortgage Plan”

“Diversify your Mortgage”

“Mortgage-free Faster”


PC Financial Marketing theme:

“Homefree Contest”


PC Financial:  The headline for their mortgage contest was “Win your mortgage payments for a year”. We found that extremely catchy, unfortunately, this contest ran for a few months back in 2008 and we haven’t seen anything like it since. Naturally the grand prize had a cap of $1000/month since mortgage amounts can vary greatly, but still, the prize was so compelling, we couldn’t not like it. This would have been a great contest to target first-time home buyers. The biggest Achilles heel of this campaign? It was never followed up with something similar. Perhaps they didn’t receive the responses they had projected, but with where social media is today and the success of online contests, they should have attempted something similar today.

Scotiabank:  We really liked the television spot, “Flip the coin mortgage plan” because humour always wins brownie points in our book. The other two videos, which are better served as educational tools, were pulled from their active Youtube account. Both these videos were engaging and informative. Scotiabank delivered excellent presentation, but did not sacrifice quality content to do so – and for that, we applaud their efforts. Best of all, their commercial was from earlier this year and the YouTube videos are still active.


Can these financial institutions back up their amazing mortgage campaigns with equally impressive mortgage rates? Let’s take a look at their 5-year fixed rate and their 5-year variable rate:

*Rates taken October 03,2011


Between the two, PC Financial offers a much lower 5-year fixed rate; in fact, it’s one of the lowest bank mortgage rates available to Canadians now. However, PC Financial hasn’t built enough awareness around their great rates using up-to-date mortgage campaigns. Instead, we award this round to Scotiabank, because we found their mortgage videos funny, educational, and most of all – relevant today.




Scotiabank vs PC Financial