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BMO Shows Indigenous Business Owner’s Story of Progress in Latest Barrier Breakers Campaign


Storytelling campaign from FCB Canada is part of the ongoing 'Barrier Breakers' initiative, where BMO shines a light on business owners who have broken barriers and found success

BMO Shows Indigenous Business Owner’s Story of Progress in Latest Barrier Breakers Campaign

BMO is living its Purpose by way of the bank’s commitment to zero barriers to financial progress through a powerful storytelling campaign from FCB Canada.

Using more than 20 pieces of content ranging in length from 15 seconds to a 10-minute short documentary, the Barrier Breakers campaign tells the story of The Yukon Soaps Company founder and owner Joella Hogan, and how she overcame barriers facing Indigenous-women-owned businesses to become the success she is today.

The Yukon Soaps Company is located in Mayo, Yukon, the traditional territory of the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun. Joella’s more than 20-year-old company creates handcrafted soaps using ingredients like wild rose petals and juniper berries sourced from the Boreal Forest. The social media campaign captures the beauty of the Mayo region and highlights the influences that the Indigenous community has on Joella’s business.

The campaign is anchored by a two-minute short film that explains the background of Hogan’s experience with the company and how BMO helped grow the business after her former bank turned her down for a loan. “Other banks were telling me no,” says Joella. “BMO said ‘Tell me more.’”

The spot shows how, recognising Joella’s drive and dedication, BMO Relationship Manager Cassandra Sole worked with her to create a business case for securing a loan to help her move her home-based business into a new space and increase production.

In addition to the social media campaign, a longer 12-minute cut of the documentary is now live for Canadians to stream. More Than Gold: The Story of The Yukon Soaps Company is available on the CBC Gem app and the Roku app as of November 14th and running for four weeks, as well as on BMO’s YouTube channel.

The campaign ladders up BMO’s Zero Barriers to Inclusion Strategy, a multi-year commitment focused on providing access to opportunities for groups facing systemic barriers, including Black and Indigenous communities.

This year, BMO celebrated the 30th anniversary of its Indigenous Banking Unit (IBU), which has long served Indigenous communities across Canada. Through its network of branches and business banking offices, both on and off reserve, the bank offers accessible financial products and services, including housing and renovation financing, trust services, investment management solutions and long-term financing for on-reserve infrastructure and economic development.

In this year’s annual Indigenous Progress report Wîcihitowin, BMO said that it grew its Indigenous banking portfolio by 44% year-over-year, to $6.5 billion, and is well on its way to achieving its stated goal of $8 billion by 2025. Wîcihitowin means “helping and supporting each other” in Cree.

BMO is making a concerted effort to support Indigenous businesses by increasing the level of goods and services it procures from Indigenous businesses, and is committed to spending $10 million a year with Indigenous businesses by 2023.

“Like Joella says in the film, Indigenous cultures and languages are at risk of fading away.” Says Nancy Crimi-Lamanna, CCO of FCB. “We, as an industry and a nation, have an important responsibility to do everything we can to ensure that doesn’t happen by amplifying and celebrating stories like hers.”


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Categories: Finance, Banking

FCB Toronto, Thu, 24 Nov 2022 15:33:38 GMT