Why walk to an ATM when someone else can do it for you? (Sample Creative)

Onion Labs, the in-house content agency at the Onion, has teamed up with BMO Harris Bank to create a humorous content series to drive awareness and downloads of the BMO Harris’ new mobile banking app. The satirical campaign holds up a mirror to the absurd lengths that banks and other marketers go to in their chase for the coveted ‘millennial’ consumer.

The campaign includes custom social and video content distributed across a range of platforms, social media and a special millennial-focused section of TheOnion.com. “.@BMOHarrisBank desperately wants Millennials, that’s why their app has a dating feature,” “Desperate to cater to millennials fickle desires, the @BMOHarrisBank App debuts photo filters,” and “We want Millennials so bad we’re willing to let them sleep in our vaults overnight,” are just some examples of the custom content created to appeal to that app-addicted millennial.

“Given how crowded the mobile banking landscape has already become, our goal was to make BMO Harris Smart Advantage Account stand out by speaking about mobile banking in a fun, humorous tone—helping to differentiate them from the more earnest approach taken by many others in their space. When brands are willing to be in on the joke, and not take themselves too seriously, it helps build brand affinity,” said Julie Scott, General Manager of Onion Labs.

“Onion Labs delivered us a biting satire of what boomer bankers think millennials sound like, and there’s a little bit of truth to it, which is why it made us laugh so hard,” said Mike Sanders, Vice President and Director of Advertising, BMO Harris Bank. “This campaign brilliantly skewers marketers in our category, but it also leaves the audience wondering what our mobile banking actually offers, and encourages them to find out more.”

Onion, Inc. is a Chicago-based digital media company composed of America’s Finest News Source, The Onion; pop-culture sister publication, The A.V. Club; internet culture satire website, ClickHole; and creative services agency, Onion Labs. Founded in 1988, The Onion has become America’s most recognizable and prominent source of comedy, with daily coverage of politics, technology, sports, business, entertainment and more. The Onion has previously published a number of bestselling books, including Our Dumb Century (1999), Our Dumb World (2007), and The Onion Book of Known Knowledge (2012) among others.


Onion Inc. is a part of the Fusion Media Group (FMG), a division of Univision Communications Inc. that caters to young, diverse audiences across a range of platforms and languages. FMG’s English-language properties include two cable networks, FUSION TV and El Rey Network, as well as a collection of leading digital properties: Gizmodo, Deadspin, Lifehacker, Jezebel, Kotaku, Jalopnik, Splinter, The Root, The Onion, The AV Club and Clickhole. FMG reaches an average of over 90 million unduplicated unique visitors per month across its owned digital properties and network of partner sites.

BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through nearly 600 branches and fee-free access to over 40,000 ATMs across the United States. BMO Harris Bank’s commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. For more information aboutBMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Banking products and services are subject to bank and credit approval.BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a highly diversified financial services provider with total assets of CDN$709 billion (as of July 31, 2017), and more than 45,000 employees.