TD Bank Made Me Cry and Reached Millions of Customers


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TD Bank made me cry today.

Picture this: I’m at my desk in an open-office workspace, when a co-worker IMs me a video about TD Bank. I had previously written on switching from TD Bank to an online bank named Simple, so I’m interested, and I click the link.

About halfway through, my eyes well up with tears.

In addition to handing twenty dollars to everyone who came to specific Canadian locations and depositing the same amount to online banking customers, last week TD transformed their normal ATMs into Automated Thanking Machines for 12 very lucky customers.

Emotional and striking, this video is a brilliant example of making the banking experience personal. See it for yourself below:

That video has gone viral and has over 7 million hits on YouTube at the time of publishing. When I started writing, it had 3.5 million hits. The number is still climbing.

Changing Lives and Making Customer Connections Personal

Maybe it’s the current economic crisis, still a fresh wound to many Americans, or maybe it goes all the way back to the Depression, but the fact stays the same: we have a hard time trusting big name banks.

TD Bank, however, is trying to change that.

TD is a place where dog treats and water bowls lie in wait for furry companions.

Lollipops are waiting for the kids and the kids-at-heart.

The free branded ink pens can be found in the hands of waiters and administrative assistants all over.

MECx Retail Banking Charts-

But even with all those benefits, community institutions are receiving higher Net Promoter Scores (NPS) than national institutions like TD, as discovered within our Most Engaging Customer Experiences Retail Banking study. NPS, for those that are unfamiliar, is a metric that measures customer advocacy, and asks how likely a customer would be to refer.

Community institutions received a NPS of 46, whereas national banks scored only 9. Community institutions are just better at delivering those lasting positive memories. That personalized experience they can provide because of their size gives them a distinct advantage in courting customer loyalty.

TD Bank Chose a Strategy to Personalize the Customer Experience

So the strategy chosen by TD Bank Canada Trust was to go above and beyond for a select group of customers, film it, and share it with the world. Smart thinking TD Bank.

The customers featured in the video were in for a surprise; each was given a special and personalized gift, just to say “thank you”.

A jersey and a hat from a favorite baseball team (followed by a special guest visit and the opportunity to throw first pitch at the next game) is a life-changing event for a die-hard fan.

Ask yourself what’s more impactful. A hot dog lunch, or plane tickets to visit a severely ill daughter?

Community banks might not be able to compete with this type of budget, but they can compete with the creativity. When there is a budget to do something special for your customers, such as a customer appreciation day, be creative! Doing something as a surprise, or out of the box, can make someone’s day and get them talking about their experiences.

Film it, and your bank might even be the next viral customer experience star.

Need some recommendations on what to do for your banks’s customer experience? Check out our retail banking research now.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Xand Griffin
In her role as Marketing Designer at PeopleMetrics, Xand works with the researchers and executive team to develop PeopleMetrics content, reporting, and thought leadership.


  1. TD generated impressive viral response from this promotional effort. Didn’t make me weepy, but did get my attention. Budget allocation notwithstanding, it demonstrates how well even a small, targeted (through application of profile data) and creative gesture, certainly out-of-the-box for banks, builds more trust and perceived value among customers: Financial services customer behavior studies consistently show that community banks, and banks that operate on a more localized model, are always able to create more bonded advocacy behavior:

  2. What was also brilliant about this campaign is that they were able to touch so many people in different ways. The special gifts were so carefully selected (as you said, using profile data) that most anyone who views the video is able to relate.

    The one part where the mom receives tickets to Disney Land and exclaims in a heartbreakingly shaky voice, “I’ve never been able to take my kids anywhere!” is what got me.

    In reading your article, it brings to mind a blog post we wrote on our banking research on customer versus banking priorities (

    Now that post compares and contrasts what banking customers want to a favorite convenience store. How “un-banklike” should banks become?


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