How banks have had to adapt ad strategies post-credit crunch

Graham Fowles

In most product categories, brands are generally pretty keen to represent their own products or services in advertising. Apple, for one, seems set on demonstrating its wares in creative work. Even at the more functional end of the IT category, Dell is also keen to get its product in front of consumers.

However, in financial services, the rules are different. Before the credit crunch, a high proportion of UK-based financial services providers were happier to tell people what they weren’t like and what they didn’t do, rather than produce creative work that simply presented their products or themselves.

This approach, which can be thought of as a form of ‘straw man knocking’ copy, allowed clients and their agencies to produce distinctive and often highly amusing creative work. However, as consumers became increasingly concerned about financial risk, this approach seemed flippant and highly inappropriate. Consequently, all these campaigns have been pulled following the credit crisis, to be replaced with fundamentally different work.