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City National Bank Drives 416% Lift in Intent to Bank from Programmatic OOH and Mobile Retargeting

Audience Honor in Financial Services


City National Bank is a U.S.-based, relationship-centric bank with strong growth goals. Its “Business is Personal” campaign was intended to build brand equity and awareness by communicating that City National is the bank you can trust. To increase awareness, consideration, and banking intent, City National Bank and its agency, Critical Mass, executed a data-driven, cross-channel campaign that included programmatic, out-of-home, and mobile retargeting (with Vistar Media) from August through October of 2021. 

To drive more results, the advertising team harnessed momentum from previous campaigns to communicate City National Bank’s "Business is Personal" messaging. This campaign showcased City National Bank’s connection to and understanding of their customers by using geographically relevant media, fresh talent, and straightforward messaging to focus on the concept of trust and cut through the clutter of other financial category advertising.


Strategy and Execution

City National Bank’s key markets were New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Tysons Corner (D.C. area), and Buckhead (Atlanta area), with the majority of spend going towards New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Using Vistar’s partnership with PushSpring, City National Bank and Critical Mass applied two distinct data-validated audience segments to reach targeted consumers across two different lines of business: personal products and business products.

The Personal Products audience consisted of adults 35+ with a $150,000+ HHI or $250,000+ in investable assets, while the Business Products audience consisted of adults 35+ with a HHI of $250,000+ or $1 million or more in investable assets.

To reach these target audiences at opportune moments (e.g., when they were near City National Bank and/or competitor locations, such as Chase, First Republic and Union Bank), Vistar ran the majority of the digital out-of-home campaign through its programmatic open exchange across a  variety of screens and media owners in each of the target markets. Specifically, City National Bank creative was deployed at bus shelters, on taxi and rideshare tops, at charging stations, on billboards, and on urban panels from media owners including, but not limited to: Volta, Firefly, Lamar, Outfront, Liquid Outdoor, New Tradition, Curb, Lyft, Branded Cities, and Smartify. In addition to the open exchange execution, City National Bank also used DOOH inventory at airports via a private marketplace deal (PMP) with Clear Channel Outdoor.

To further amplify the impact of the campaign, City National Bank and Critical Mass executed a mobile retargeting campaign through Vistar Media, as well. Vistar’s robust mobile extension capabilities allowed the brand to, in a privacy-compliant manner, identify consumers who were exposed to the DOOH campaign, and then retarget them on their mobile devices for additional creative touchpoints.

A key and unique component of this cross-channel OOH campaign included tentpole alignment with the Tony Awards in New York City, as City National Bank is the official Bank of the Tony Awards. To deliver surround sound and complement the other channels in its brand campaign media mix, City National Bank and Critical Mass focused digital out-of-home media saturation around NYC, and specifically Broadway, from September 14th through the Tony Awards on September 26th, 2021. To ensure ads were hyper-locally executed, we used zip code targeting around the DOOH venue types to increase awareness and intent around the event. 


To evaluate the impact of the programmatic DOOH campaign and measure the effectiveness across all venue types, Vistar, Critical Mass, and City National Bank conducted a brand lift study based upon verified exposure.

By surrounding relevant brand locations with digital outdoor inventory, and by adding the strategic mobile retargeting component, the campaign drove impressive success with a 416% increase in actual banking intent, a 341% increase in consideration, and a 135% increase in brand awareness – for those exposed across channels.

For the broader DOOH campaign, City National Bank saw a 137% lift in intent to bank, 122% lift in consideration, and 62% lift in brand awareness. All DOOH screens were effective in driving lift in awareness and consideration; however, billboards and urban panels performed the strongest among the venues for all metrics throughout the purchase funnel.

Coupling DOOH with data-driven audiences, geographic proximity, and mobile retargeting ensured relevance for consumers while they were near branch locations and as they continued moving throughout their day. The targeted frequency generated through these tactics proved to be a winning strategy that effectively moved the needle for CNB in their key markets.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Critical Mass, City National Bank


Entry Credits