Zulu Alpha Kilo created “The Surprise”, a branded content film about the virtues of using one’s own money

Ads, Creativity

Believing that some lessons come from the most unexpected places, Zulu Alpha Kilo has created “The Surprise” – a branded content film to show Canadians how life is better when they use their own money.

The story follows a young boy who works hard to earn himself enough money to buy a puppy. Bringing his new piggy-bank with him every step of the way, the boy washes cars, paints garages, and even keeps the proceeds from a lost tooth.

Struggling with credit card debt and the effects it has on his own relationship, the boy’s Father reflects on his own payment behaviors after watching his son learn the value of paying with his own money.

We’re never too old to learn (…) We want Canadians who watch #TheSurprise to see that life is truly better when you use your own money.

Zak Mroueh,

Chief Creative Officer & Founder of Zulu Alpha Kilo

The video will primarily live online with a 360 campaign directing Canadians to watch the film. This will include a 90 second version of the story playing in theatres across the country, in-theatre movie posters, digital, social and two 15 second teaser spots.

The creative and strategic platform encouraging Canadians to use their own money with Interac Debit is going into its third year in the market. It was recently awarded locally with a Silver and Bronze at the 2016 Cassie‘s and has been shortlisted for this year’s Effie Awards.

Media Experts was the media partner agency. French creative for the Quebec marketplace was handled by TANK.


Agency:  Zulu Alpha Kilo

Chief Creative Officer: Zak Mroueh

Executive Creative Director: Allen Oke

Art Director: Fiorella Martinez

Writer: Jacob Pacey

Agency Producer: Tara Handley

Account Team: Rob Feightner, Laura Robinson, Winnie Hsiao

Strategy Team: Heidi Philip, Emma Brooks

Client (Company): Interac Association

Clients: Andrea Danovitch, Leslie Vera, Lauren McKay

Production House: OPC

Director: Tomas Mankovsky

Production House Producer: Ian Webb

Director of Photography: Steve Annis

Casting Director: Shasta Lutz

Video Post Facility / Editing Company: Saints

Editor: Ross Burchall

Compositor / Online: Alter Ego

Colourist/Transfer: Tricia Hagoriles

Audio Post Facility/Music House: Eggplant

Audio Director: Adam Damelin

Producer: Nicola Treadgold

Engineer: Brad Tigwell

Song: Bahamas “Lost in the Light”

Media Agency: Media Experts

Media Agency Planner: Richard Ivey, Phil Borisenko, Jenna Bendavid, Daniel Mak, Josee Thibault

Zulu Alpha Kilo is based in Toronto, Ontario. Founded in July 2008 by Zak Mroueh, the agency has a full-time staff of 84 Zuligans. Clients include Interac Association/Acxsys Corporation,  Audi Canada, Bell Canada, Cineplex Entertainment, Labatt Breweries, ParticipACTION, and Harley-Davidson.