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United States

Case Study


The science of spending: Interac identifies the Feel Good Phenomenon

  • ServiceIntelligence & Technology
  • SectorFinancial & Professional Services
  • OfficeCanada
  • Capability

    Media Relations, Behavioral Science

After a year of living through the pandemic, Canadians were feeling drained emotionally and financially. With the help of H&K's Behavioral Science unit, Interac identified a way to lift spirits through the Feel Good Phenomenon.

Using behavioral science to understand spending habits

H&K’s proprietary research showed that Gen Z adults and Millennials were feeling financial pressure, with more than half more concerned with managing their finances than ever before. While Canadians may not have been able to control much during the pandemic, we wanted to know if they were using their money to gain a sense of order.

Our Behavioral Science unit developed questions to understand how customers' online purchases made them feel, taking care to study the emotional impact of essential and non-essential items. This research uncovered a “Feel Good Phenomenon” as debit users were increasingly making feel good purchases to boost an array of positive feelings, from satisfaction and confidence to pride. We learned that even low-value purchases triggered a significant positive emotional response if linked to a passion.

Science-driven messaging

To share the power of the Feel Good Phenomenon, we teamed up with scientist and happiness expert Dr. Gillian Mandich. On morning shows and in other outlets, Mandich provided expert commentary on the deeper motivating factors behind the feel good spending trend. In addition, we used tailored pitches, including localized stories on feel good spending patterns to drive media coverage and awareness.

The Feel Good Phenomenon campaign was enormously successful, generating 111 total media hits and 22.9 million earned impressions, with a 100% positive tone.

We were awarded a Platinum MarCom Award, a Gold in the Best Use of Media Relations at the CPRS Toronto ACE Awards, and a Silver in the Best Use of Media Relations at the CPRS National Excellence Awards.

Related Services and Sectors

Intelligence & Technology

H&K’s global Intel & Tech unit brings together deep data and analytics expertise, innovative technology and a solution-centric approach to solve the complex challenges businesses and brands face today.


Financial & Professional Services

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