Brand marketing has become an ever-important tactic when attracting and retaining banking customers. More and more, banks are spending an increasing amount of money on tv adverts and social media campaigns. Evie Rusman reports

In the past year, companies and consumers have faced financial distress at the hands of the pandemic. That means that, now more than ever, consumers are seeking financial advice and solutions regarding changing circumstances.

Due to social distancing restrictions this has also meant banks have had to adopt a digital first approach when engaging with customers and offering help and advice.

Brand marketing is a big part of this. According to recent statistics, as of June 2020, companies in the banking and financial sector are spending an average of 13% of their overall budget on marketing.

In addition, a report by Business Insider expects digital ad spending in the US financial sector to increase by 9.7% to reach $19.6bn this year. This increase in spending demonstrates how banks are beginning to adopt a digital-first approach in order to meet customer needs.

Barclays Moneyverse

As we are well aware, the pandemic has resulted in a switch to online banking services, with a focus on mobile apps and tools. This is highlighted in Barclays’ latest campaign, which encourages customers to take control of their finances through several products and services available in the bank’s mobile app.

Barclays’ idea is that we all have our own personal relationship with money – our “Moneyverse”.

Through using a combination of money management tools, as well as guidance from Barclays’ Money Mentors and Digital Eagles, the bank hopes to help customers master their “Moneyverse”.

For banks, TV remains a powerful tool to engage with customers especially at a time when TV streaming has accelerated rapidly. Alongside its campaign, Barclays has created a TV advert, which it has promoted on its social media channels.

The ad was created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty London, and begins as Amit reads his electricity bill, prompting him to open the Barclays app, from where he is propelled into a gravity-free dimension known as the “Moneyverse”. In the “Moneyverse” Amit is able to see his relationship with money, from weekly shops to spending money on concerts.

British rapper Speech Debelle voices the ad saying: “With the Barclays app you can see where your money’s going, so you can make a plan.” The idea is to discourage customers making unnecessary purchases.

Barclays has also started an Instagram series where its Money Mentors advise customers for free on how to save and budget.


Barclays is not the only bank investing in its advertising strategy – Earlier this month, TSB pulled out the stops with a TV ad featuring David Schwimmer (also know as Ross Geller from the hit sitcom Friends).

The advert, which was created in collaboration with McCann UK, sees Schwimmer go on a road trip around the UK driving a VW campervan. It is part of the bank’s Life Made More campaign, which is based on the idea that money confidence helps to build life confidence.

Schwimmer says: “I’ve always loved British humour. So, when TSB approached me, I jumped at the chance to celebrate ‘life made more’ and the idiosyncratic pursuits of Brits everywhere.”


This celebrity marketing tactic is also used by Santander UK, who for the last couple of years has tapped Geordie duo Ant and Dec to appear in its TV ads.

The latest TV offering from the bank, which was created by ENGINE Creative, sees the pair transform into 1980s video game characters, determined to take ‘digital’ to the next level.

In the ad, Ant and Dec don VR headsets and create the “world’s first virtual bank”. Meanwhile, Santander introduces its My Money Manager feature on its mobile app, designed to keep “the digital stuff simple”.

Dan Sherwood, director of marketing at Santander, says: “Ant & Dec return to our screens in their now familiar roles as CEOs of the Bank of Antandec taking on a new challenge, a digital one. Not only has their strategy changed, but so have they … and we get to see them for the very first time as avatars in the world’s first ever virtual bank.”

Jo Moore, creative director at ENGINE Creative, adds: “It’s always a pleasure to work with those clever two innovators at the Bank of Antandec, even though they’ve yet to deliver. And they fail to do so again in this new campaign, in which their mind-blowing ‘digital banking’ concept is a ‘virtual Antandec branch’ to help their customers stay close to their money complete with virtual Hobnobs. How on earth can Santander compete? The answer is by keeping things simple.”

What all of three marketing campaigns have in common is the idea that customers must keep on top of their finances. And the way to do this it seems is through money management tools.