Royal Bank has a transit shelter ad across the street from an HSBC branch by our office. Is this strategic? I don’t think so, the timing is wrong. Either you’re talking to someone who’s already committed to making the trip to HSBC and is steps away from walking into their branch, or when they’re just walking out of the branch and have no need for banking services. The ad wasn’t even for a better rate than HSBC on something, it was soft-selling RBC’s service line-up.
Ad placement like this is just a middle-finger from one brand to its competitor. Worse, this kind of gesture doesn’t even suit Royal Bank’s brand. (Unlike back in my hometown where one rock station bought a billboard outside the competing rock station’s head office – that fit perfectly with their irreverent brand.)
Why not complement rather than compete? Put an outdoor ad for an insurance company outside a car lot or realtor’s office. Or an ad for hearing aids outside an eyeglasses store. Or an ad for a pet store beside an off-leash park. I’m sure you’ll see a lot more response when you’re being useful instead of childish.