Advertising is an important component of any finance brand’s marketing strategy. From traditional advertising channels to digital platforms, there were a number of ways banks advertised successfully in the UK, USA and Australia in 2021. For these brands advertising wasn’t just an exercise in banner ads and brand messaging but rather the effective use of targeted, relevant and useful content to address audience needs and bring their brand messages to life. With the financial services sector being so competitive and saturated, it’s critical you stand out from the crowd through your advertising methods. So, who were the best bank advertisers in the UK, USA and Australia last year and what can your finance brand learn from them?
Best strategies implemented by bank advertisers overall
With the pandemic advancing consumer’s reliance on online banking technologies, it makes sense that the best bank advertisers utilised digital platforms to their advantage. Social media generated the most impressions for bank advertisers with YouTube being the top digital advertising platform. Short videos remain the top way to gain the most impressions across all social media platforms. Your finance brand should create engaging video content that is tailored to your audience and shared across your social media platforms to garner better engagement, generate leads and improve brand awareness. At the Dubs we created short doco-style videos to capture the attention of millennials where they already live, driving them to spark up a real conversation with the brand in Facebook Messenger.
Content that gained the most impressions were ones that were:
- Quirky – Comparethemarket.com’s ‘meerkat ad’ remains one of the most recognised and well-known finance advertisements in the UK and Australia. Creating fun, quirky and engaging content can create a lasting impression enabling you to generate leads and improve brand recognition and trust.
- Educational – Educational content shared across your social media platforms remains one of the top methods of advertising for bank advertisers and other finance brands. Understanding your audience and what information they need to know will ensure you build trust, loyalty and brand awareness.
- Emotional – Digital storytelling can help your finance brand create emotional connections with consumers improving engagement. This method can help you generate relatability, bridge the approachability gap and improve brand trust. Sharing finance stories like the NRMA’s Story of Help content hub or Allstate’s award-winning digital storytelling campaign ‘Worth Telling’ can help you build authentic customer relationships.
USA best bank advertisers
“ Social media generated the most impressions for bank advertisers with YouTube being the top digital advertising platform.”
JP Morgan Chase garnered 5,371,208,561 impressions with an average estimated cost per 1,000 views of $7.36. JP Morgan does particularly well at tailoring its advertising strategies to different niche audiences. In 2021, they had the goal to appeal to younger clients by showcasing how accessible JP Morgan is to new clients. This ad campaign is tailored to younger audiences by addressing their fears and hesitations and how JP Morgan can benefit them as young investors. “We know we’re dealing with a perception where we’re not accessible for younger investors. We want to change that,” Dipti Kachru, Chief Marketing Officer at JP Morgan, said.
Fifth Third acquired 441,698,444 impressions with an average estimated cost per 1,000 views of $0.12. Fifth Third showcases the importance of understanding and analysing third-party data to identify your target audience and the required paid media strategy to reach them. In line with their younger demographic, they created advertising that was personable and quirky with a woman clad in a blue suit acting as their brand ambassador throughout all ads. This helped to make their content memorable and improved brand awareness, resulting in a 21% increase in brand consideration over a one-year period.
Australia #1 bank advertisers
The top 2 bank advertisers in 2021 in Australia were the Commonwealth Bank and Westpac. The top places banks advertisers in Australia published content were Facebook, YouTube and RealEstate.com, with Facebook accounting for 90% of impressions indicating it’s still a widely effective platform for banks. The prominence of RealEstate.com.au also indicates the effectiveness of advertising on digital platforms that are intertwined with banking – as people look to purchase a house they can also be advertised tailored banking products. Additionally, RealEstate.com.au enables finance brands to share sponsored content across their site in the form of blog posts. This provides a space for banks to share targeted content directly to interested audiences with one such example being from the Commonwealth Bank ‘How to prepare to buy a home when you’re not on a deadline’.
Commonwealth Bank split their advertising across the three different channels relatively evenly with socials making up 39%, video making up 39% and banners making up 22% of their content strategy. Their video content was shared across all social platforms 100% of the time and garnered impressive engagement with their recent Instagram video feature football player Sam Kerr garnering 96,400 views. This video was released after the news that footballer Sam Kerr has beat previous Australian goal-scoring records making it timely and engaging. This reveals short video content that’s reflective of current interests is a great way of capturing consumer attention.
Westpac’s ‘Life is Eventful’ ad campaign was a large success as it was a perfect reflection of inclusive marketing. By being more inclusive and representing a wide variety of individuals’ lived experiences Westpac stands out from the crowd of generic bank advertising trends. This campaign has helped them connect with clients and create authentic relationships.
UK advertising winners
Halifax has a 51% popularity score according to YouGov, a non-profit media company that rates and analyses customers’ impressions on businesses within the UK. Like Westpac, their 2021 ad campaign ‘It’s a People Thing’ saw the bank utilise a relatable lens to build brand awareness and trust. Following different people and families in a traditional British street, Halifax showcases the ups and downs of a wide variety of people, helping to minimise the approachability gap by creating personable content.
Nationwide Building Society, who has a popularity score of 57%, launched a savings campaign in 2021 which saw everyday people share their savings goals and tips as well as a chance to win £100 prizes. This campaign reflects the growing demand from consumers for banks to provide financial wellness services. It was largely successful with 183,500 accounts opened and more than £55 million saved since its launch. It indicates the importance of finance brands reflecting consumers’ needs in their advertising strategy as well as the importance of offering educational services in relatable and personable formats.
Lessons for finance brands
When analysing the top bank advertisers in the UK, USA and Australia it’s clear to see that personable and relatable advertising content is the most successful with consumers. Platforming real customers’ voices and a wide variety of experiences can help your finance brand connect and build authentic customer relationships. Offering engaging video content that is educational and inclusive can improve brand awareness, trust and loyalty. Finally, ensuring your advertising strategy is tailored towards your target audience is vital for your advertising to have the desired effect and generate meaningful leads.