Select Page

Banks and Brand Kinship

For advertising agencies conceptualising a brand communication campaign for a financial institution or a bank, is a challenging undertaking of ‘risk and responsibility’ that necessitates caution about dramatising brand promises that cannot realistically be met.

But safe, predictable and cliched advertising, will merely get lost in the dense fog of stereotypical financial sector advertising.
Insightful, intuitive, and motivational communication initiatives are called for, with bold innovations, institutional integrity, and imaginative executions of appealing brand kinship.

1. Tochka Bank, The Wrong Bank

Advertising Agency: Voskhod, Yekaterinburg, Russia

The Best Ads On TV website, introduced the premise of Tochka’s ‘The Wrong Bank’ commercial as follows:

Banks are all about money, right?”
Banking service is all about huge amount of papers and time, right?
Every banking problem can be solved according to an established pattern, right?
If a banking system works, why to change it? Right?
If this is right, then Tochka is the wrong bank.

Directed by filmmaker Ilya Naishuller, the dreamlike scenario is a spectacular depiction of the Tochka Bank’s claim of being a bank for imaginative entrepreneurs needing innovative financial services.

The featured “Angel” soundtrack composition, was written and performed by English electronic band Massive Attack.

2. HSBC, The Homeless Bank Account

Advertising Agency: Wunderman Thompson, London, UK

HSBC, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, is a British, multinational investment bank, and financial services holding company.

Wunderman Thompson’s advertising campaign for HSBC, of reintegrating homeless people into society, by enabling them to open bank accounts, is a groundbreaking financial services innovation to make it easier for them to receive benefits, find employment, and find a home.

In line with their corporate credo, that ‘as a nation, and as individuals, we thrive more when we are connected to something bigger than ourselves’, HSBC teemed up with Shelter, and other UK charities, for a laudable campaign initiative that deservedly won three prestigious Epica awards.

A Grand Prix in the Alternative Advertising category, a Financial Services Gold, and a Direct Marketing Gold.

3. Vanquis Bank, Walk Tall

Advertising Agency: NOW, London, UK

A subsidiary of the Provident Financial Group, Vanquis Bank Ltd., headquartered in London UK, provides commercial banking services for retail and institutional customers, and offers credit cards, loans, credit advice, and financial news.

Vanquis Bank claims that they are able to provide financial assistance to people other banks say no, in improving their credit ratings and confidence, via their their credit card system.

Directed by filmmaker Henry Littlechild, to a soundtrack of Irish singer Val Doonican’s hit, “Walk Tall…and look the world right in the eye”, the highly entertaining commercial of a confident, upright walking cat, strolling along a busy street-market, is a viewing treat.

4. Santander Bank, Piggy

Advertising Agency: Arnold Worldwide, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Boston based Santander Bank USA, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the international Spanish Santander Group, currently represented in 16 countries.

Filmed in Los Angeles, the analogous story about how Santander values and respects even the youngest and smallest of its customers, features a ‘Piggy-bank’ leaving home to explore the big city.

Charmingly brought to life by visual effects company Framestore, and directed by renowned filmmaker Daniel Kleinman, Piggy’s mis-adventures and emotive rescue by a kindly Santander bank clark, are immensely watchable.

The soundtrack features “Home” by songwriters and musicians, Simon Steadman and Charlton Pettus.

5. Santander Bank, Marathon

Advertising Agency: Arnold Worldwide, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

In aid of the NEMC Children’s Hospital, visual effects company Framestore and filmmaker Daniel Kleinman, teamed up again for Santander Bank’s ‘Marathon’ commercial featuring the delightful return of ‘Piggy’.

The scenario of Piggy getting his running partner out of her bed early one morning, to start training for their upcoming NEMC donation collecting marathon, filmed over three days in Cape Town, South Africa, is fun to view.

They succeed in crossing the finish line, and the commercial ends with a surprising visual metaphor of how respect can add up for the wide spreading of donations, made up of many donors’ own ‘little piggies’.

The soundtrack features a cover of American singer and musician, Matthew Wilder’s “Break My Stride” with vocals by Jess Wolfe & Holly Laessig of indie pop band Lucius.

6. Kiatnakin Bank, The Dream

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy, Bangkok, Thailand

The online corporate commercial ‘Dream’, directed by filmmaker Teerapol Suneta, is an allegorical scenario about a young boy’s passionate ambition to become an astronaut and moon explorer.

Kiatnakin Bank’s aim is to highlight how money depreciates in value day by day, and just saving is not enough to make dreams become a reality. Better returns on bank deposits are required through alternative investments and asset allocations, that the bank is able to provide.

By not making the investment banking campaign exclusively focused on promoting their brand offerings, but rather about insightfully recalling the dreams of one’s youth, with the universal truth about monetary inflation and rising costs, that so often lead to disappointments, Kiatnakin Bank’s, ’The Dream’ commercial rapidly went viral, and struck a chord with millions of viewers globally.