BMO Harris Bank and the Chicago Bulls have a long-standing partnership and have worked together on a number of marketing initiatives, including in-arena activations, community initiatives, NBA G League partnerships, co-branded products, and producing digital content.
Given the extent and length of the relationship, most Bulls fans are aware of who BMO Harris Bank is, so the partnership is now focused on driving brand preference rather than awareness. To do this, we're focused not on gaining mass reach, but instead on creating compelling content and experiences together for the benefit of our fans.
From a digital perspective, we're aiming to create impactful content that makes fans stop scrolling through their news feeds and instead stop, watch and engage with the branded content that we're creating.
To do that, we've created a content series called "BMO LoopaBulls." Originally inspired by Vine, these are 10-20 second 'loops', filmed in stop motion that are meant to be thumb-stopping short videos, watched on repeat, that naturally encourage engagement and feature organic brand placement for BMO Harris Bank.
Ranging from doing an illusion of Benny The Bull breaking Instagram's feed, to releasing the Bulls' home schedule through iconic video games, these snack-size videos showcase the execution of complex concepts. Although the final product is short in duration, each piece takes weeks to create. Many of our roughly20 second videos take an entire day to shoot, as each frame is shot, photo-by-photo, to create compelling visual effects for our fan base. Each individual frame has to be stitched together to create the final video, which leads to an incredibly detailed-oriented editing process as well.
Despite the lengthy production, we think it is critical because if the content doesn't capture our fans' attention, it can't help our partners (BMO Harris Bank) achieve their marketing objectives. Putting in the hours upfront helps make sure that the content produced here is something that makes our fans stop and pay attention to what we are publishing.
To be most effective in our fans' timelines, each #BMOLoopaBulls stop motion video is focused around something happening in the real world such as the start of the NBA season, New Year's celebrations, or the new Chicago City Edition jerseys. Each is based on something that our global audience can relate to and can gain context from quickly. As there are only seconds to tell the story, we try to swiftly capture their attention by being relevant from a timeliness perspective – such as releasing our New Year's celebration loop on the New Year's Eve.
As of the submission deadline, we have released three #BMOLoopaBulls during the season, and seen our reach hit more than three million people so far, with more than 750,000 recorded "video views" from those individuals. This means that one in four people who saw this content on their news feeds stopped scrolling and watched the content long enough for the social platforms to count it as a video view.
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