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Ad of the Day: This Generous TD Bank Stunt Is the Perfect Ad to Watch on Thanksgiving


Here's $30,000. Now, go out and do something great for your community. And we do mean now. You've got 24 hours to bring your dream to life.

That's the challenge TD Bank issued to 24 people in the U.S. and Canada as part of its #MakeTodayMatter campaign, developed with Leo Burnett and Diamond Integrated Marketing, both in Toronto..

"The passion our customers have for giving back is just amazing," Dominic Mercuri, TD's chief marketing officer, tells Adweek. "We didn't know if this idea would work. Would people drop everything to bring to life their idea? Turns out—yes, they would."

Most of the recipients were nominated by local TD employees, while "some were chosen based on random live interviews in branches and stores with random customers," Mercuri says. The dollar amounts varied according to the specific projects, but $30,000 was the average figure each participant had to work with. "It's a significant amount that can make a real meaningful difference," he adds.

The four-minute campaign video below—a four-hanky affair, at the very least—focuses on the good deeds of three #MakeTodayMatter recipients. We meet Michael from Ontario, who provides a ramp to make an elderly neighbor's house more accessible (she hadn't left home in four years); Valerie from Pennsylvania, who shows foster children they're loved by organizing a gala event to boost their self-esteem; and Edwin, a Florida elementary school gym coach, who buys gear for an under-equipped youth football program.

All 24 stories are featured in clips at the campaign website, and there's the requisite social outreach on Twitter and Facebook.

"We did not have a situation where money was left over, as our customers found other or additional opportunities to give or contribute," Mercuri says.

On one level, of course, this is simple a bold, well-executed marketing stunt, designed to generate holiday cheer for the bank through a viral video and publicity. (Indeed, the centerpiece clip has millions of views after just a few days on YouTube. TD has scored in this realm before, notably with "Automated Thanking Machines," which has amassed almost 18 millions views since July.)

That said, I give the bank extra props on this one. Lots of brands create powerful holiday ads, but TD went the extra mile by putting its money to work helping local communities.

Some commenters have questioned the 24-hour stipulation, suggesting the recipients could have much done more with additional time for planning and logistics. That's a valid point, to which Mercuri responds: "Part of what we think is the beauty of #MakeTodayMatter is that it all took place in such a short period of time. It made the achievement of each act more concentrated and meaningful to everyone who participated."

What's more, the campaign could inspire viewers to seriously consider what they might do today, within their means, to help their communities. Along with the 24 good deeds, that's a huge return on the bank's investment.

Client: TD Bank
Agencies: Leo Burnett, Toronto, and Diamond Integrated Marketing

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