Barclaycard – Sliding our way into a greater share of the future

Principal Authors: Nicoletta Vita and Henrietta Probert – BBH

Contributing Authors: Richard Collins – Barclaycard; Richard Evans – Walker Media; Elaine Miller – Dare Digital; Rhys Jones – Data2Decisions


In the late 1990s, a new set of competitors changed the dynamic of the market, leaving Barclaycard's original communications model outdated. By 2005 Barclaycard was suffering a decline in volume transactions, market share and share of new customer acquisition. In response Barclaycard radically changed the core brand proposition and used communications to engage with a new generation of credit card holders. The creation of ‘the world's biggest waterslide’ across multiple channels captured the public's attention. The industry judging panel loved the way this campaign took a fresh, emotive approach in a dull, rational category. The ‘big slide’ leveraged the power of fame and talkability to infiltrate consumer conversations and lift Barclaycard above the field of dull, old-fashioned banks in a recessionary environment. This paper clearly demonstrates how the new communications approach has driven new customer acquisition and added value of £22m to the Barclaycard business, delivering a payback of £2.50 for every £1 invested.