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The Goals

  • Drive awareness of Interac Flash, a contactless enhancement of Interac Debit
  • Defend the market position of Interac Flash by showing its ease of use
  • Validate that digital video is an effective complement to TV for upper-funnel goals

The Approach

  • Leveraged in-stream and skippable programmatic video ad inventory across exchanges to determine the best performing video creative
  • Expanded the placement of the best-performing creative to TrueView
  • Measured the lift in ad recall, brand awareness and brand interest driven by TrueView

The Results

  • Achieved an average 2-3x lower cost-per-view than the typical cost-per-view for finance advertisers
  • Drove high TrueView in-stream completion rates of 21-22%, a best-in-class range
  • Produced a relative lift of 14% in ad recall, 8.3% in brand awareness and 2.5% in brand interest with TrueView


Published August 2016

Since its beginnings in Canada in 1984, Interac Association has been recognized as a global leader and innovator in debit card services. Over 24 million active monthly users of the Interac debit card rely on the organization to process over 400 million debit transactions each month.

Interac began its move to the forefront of contactless payments by introducing an enhancement to its debit cards called Interac Flash. The enhancement allows cardholders to pay for purchases quickly and securely by "flashing" their card in front of a supported reader at checkout.

To stay at the forefront of contactless payments, Interac wanted to drive awareness of Interac Flash among current card holders and drive interest among consumers that are in the market for a new contactless enhancement of their Interac debit card. They turned to their media agency, Media Experts, to develop a comprehensive strategy to achieve these objectives.   

Drive awareness and interest with digital video

Interac has typically used TV to drive upper funnel brand goals, but it hasn't always used programmatic video ads to do the same. When marketing Interac Flash, Media Experts wanted a measurable digital video strategy, which would validate further investment in brand building with video. 

Partnering with Interac and the agency's trading desk, Xpeto, Media Experts executed a plan to drive awareness and interest with programmatic video through DoubleClick Bid Manager. The plan would leverage video across exchanges and the TrueView format on YouTube — and across other video publishers. It would also use a Google Brand Lift study to provide a key ingredient for Interac: measurability from a brand-building perspective.

DoubleClick Bid Manager gave us the best opportunity to reach our target audiences, for the Interac brand, that were watching high-quality, brand safe video content across the web and the ability to easily measure the impact of those ads.

Yuli Shumsky, Director, Programmatic Systems at Xpeto (IPG)

Start on the exchanges and expand to TrueView

The programmatic video campaign for Interac Flash began with two 30-second video creatives from agency Zulu Alpha Kilo. These creatives ran on placements bought through DoubleClick Bid Manager and across ad exchanges, including DoubleClick Ad Exchange. From there Interac selected the creative that achieved the best completion rate to run as a TrueView in-stream video ad, a choice-based video ad format that plays for five seconds and then gives viewers the choice to skip or continue viewing the ad.

Media Experts implemented the first phase of the Interac campaign across exchanges in May and June 2015 by placing the two different video creatives into in-stream and skippable video inventory. On the exchanges, the two creatives, "Childproofing" and "Buddy," competed for the best completion rate.

Two video creatives compete for placement on YouTube TrueView

Interac creative competition for the most video completions across the exchanges

"Buddy," where a woman shops for her dog using Interac Flash, achieved the best in-stream and skippable video completion rates across the exchanges at 67% and 22% respectively, versus 62% and 21% completion rates for "Childproofing." From August 24th to September 20th, Media Experts then expanded the campaign to YouTube TrueView exclusively with the "Buddy" creative. 

A Google Brand Lift study was included with the TrueView campaign that created 2 random groups: one exposed to the Interac Flash "Buddy" ad and one randomly selected to see other ads.

Traditionally the brand lift surveys that we run on TV or video campaigns can take weeks or months. In many cases the results get to us well after the campaign is has been completed. The Google Brand Lift study we executed gave us the ability to quickly measure the campaign in-flight so we could make broadcast and video adjustments in near real time.

Phil Borisenko, Director, Mediasystems at Media Experts (IPG)

The Brand Lift study did more than just prove that Interac was achieving its brand goals with programmatic video. It also provided Interac with insights that may be able to offer direction to future campaigns. For example, Media Experts targeted categories and affinities that they expected to skew toward females, like Fashion & Beauty, Shopping & Retail, Lifestyle and Entertainment. Despite this skew in the targeting, the "Buddy" TrueView creative had the strongest impact on improving ad recall with men ages 25-34. In terms of improving brand awareness, the creative had the strongest impact with adults ages 55-64. In future campaigns, Media Experts and Interac can tailor their video creatives to these demographics in order to directly drive ad recall and brand awareness with them.

Best-in-class brand lift and cost-per-view results

The overall results of the Brand Lift study validated Interac's strategy to achieve upper funnel brand goals with programmatic video advertising. The YouTube TrueView campaign produced a relative lift of 14% in ad recall, 8.3% in brand awareness and 2.5% in brand interest. These best-in-class branding results came along with cost benefits as well. Interac achieved a cost-per-view that was 2-3x lower than the typical cost-per-view for finance advertisers.

“The campaign recommendation from Media Experts to run programmatic TrueView campaigns through DoubleClick Bid Manager helped us achieve our objective to drive consumer awareness in Interac Flash. We're thrilled with the results of our first TrueView campaign.

Jennifer Lee, Senior Marketing Manager, Interac Association


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