Brand and agency spotlight - finance

First Direct, Havas SE Cake and House of Experience speak to Event about making activity in the financial sector appeal to an often sceptical audience.

Activations in the financial sector have to appeal to a mass audience
Activations in the financial sector have to appeal to a mass audience

Joanne Thornton, senior campaign manager, First Direct

Over the past 18 months we have engaged in experiential activity to increase brand awareness and consumer interaction, which, as a bank without branches, is important.

One challenge is bringing forward the subject of banking into an environment such as music or sport. Consumers don't go to these events to hear about banking products or services and could easily be turned off, so we have to be careful.

It can also be tricky for banking to be noticed when there is a degree of apathy and distrust from consumers.

We've tried to keep the subject relevant to the environment consumers are in, while giving a nod to our sector or brand in a playful way.

For us it's not about selling current accounts or mortgages, but allowing people to engage with our brand, leaving them with a positive affinity. Then, if they later choose to change banking products, they may be more likely to consider us.

Andrew Casher, managing partner, Havas SE Cake

Financial brands - like most brands - embrace a range of campaign types. But the common thread between the most successful is scale and positioning.

Activation in the financial sector has to have mass and mainstream appeal because, in general, financial brands' audience bases are so broad.

Authenticity is key. Financial institutions have had to work hard to regain public trust, so the right tone is essential.

People's perceptions of the financial sector can be a barrier to engagement - in many ways, brands have to be more wary and empathetic than any other sector, because they rely on fostering a sense of trust. Furthermore, certain brands have to be careful of activating in any way that might be considered a waste of public money.

In an age where brands need to be as open as possible, the altruistic approach wins out: anything that can help people, make the world a better place and which shows a commitment to transparency.

Oliver Burgoyne, client services director, House of Experience

The challenge with activations in this sector is relevancy - it's great to do fun and engaging stunts, but the messaging needs to be on point.

We are fortunate to work with a 'challenger' brand - international money transfer company TransferWise - and as a result we can be more risky in our approach. We want to be disruptive and push the boundaries. We want to make our advertising engaging in what is generally a dry subject.

Many of our campaigns have highlighted problems in the finance/banking sector, and activity has generally been well received.

Our stunts have helped break down barriers and engagement with these campaigns has been phenomenal.

Ultimately, turning this dry subject into something more engaging has appealed to our audience. Producing content for people to watch and explore via social channels has certainly proved successful so far.

Read more in our Sector Insight on finance

Comment below to let us know what you think.

For more in-depth and print-only features, showcases and interviews with world-leading brands, don't miss the next issue of Event magazine by subscribing here.

Have your say

Only registered users may comment. Sign in now or register for free.

Follow us

Latest Event Jobs

Venue Search

close this