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Financial services

Financial services is a major advertising sector, covering categories such as insurance, banking and credit cards. Financial services brands tend to be significant investors in direct channels, and in data-driven technology such as programmatic. Key issues for financial services marketers include brand trust following the financial crisis of 2008/9, and the ongoing need to explain highly complex (and regulated) products in terms consumers can easily understand.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

How behavioural economics is helping financial services brands rebuild the trust they lost in the global financial crisis. Steps that brands are taking include current accounts that don't provide overdrafts and online forecasting with automatic feedback to customers about their finances.
MasterCard research uncovering the often overlooked emotional elements of making online payments.
Les Binet and Sarah Carter discuss rational prompts in 'low interest' categories such as financial services.
Event report from UBS showing how financial needs change as we move into different lifestages.

Case Study

This case study shows how Daman, a health insurance brand, raised awareness about antibiotics self-prescription and over-consumption in the UAE using a humorous campaign that likened pills to candy.

Case Study

This case study shows how Daman, a health insurance brand, increased brand equity in the UAE using an educational campaign about vitamin D deficiency.

Case Study

This case study shows how Emirates NBD, a financial services brand, expanded its account acquisitions in the UAE by developing a product that directly solved its target audience's biggest issue.

Case Study

This case study shows how MasterCard, a financial services brand, installed an interactive display to collect food donations across the UAE.

Case Study

This case study shows how 10X Investments, an investment management company, used a viral video campaign to make South African consumers aware of high investment fees and increase brand awareness.

Case Study

This case study describes how financial services company Charles Schwab, joined with news network CNN’s anchors to create a multimedia content series to gain the attention of the hard-to-reach investor audience in the US.
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This article questions if financial services companies aren't capitalising on the increasing number of women who are the largest earners in their families.


This event report examines how Visa, a financial services company, has taken advantage of technological advances and changes in shopping behaviours to affect payments.


This short report summarises the results for the financial services category from the 2017 WARC 100, which ranks the world's best advertising campaigns based on performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions.


This article looks at what financial services companies can do to overcome the mistrust that has dogged them since the global financial crisis - as well as the innate lack of interest in their products and resistance to changing supplier.


This article looks at how several insurance brands in the south-east Asian market overhauled their offering by using behavioural data to offer value exchange.


This article previews the November issue of Admap, looking at what financial services brands must do to stay relevant in an age of fintech startups.
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  1. Article

    This case study shows how John Lewis Insurance, an insurance service segment included in the UK retailer's operations, developed a new marketing approach that not only generated insurance sales but also built on the John Lewis brand.
  2. Article

    This case study shows how Direct Line, an insurance provider in the UK, took inspiration from a Hollywood character to refine its brand purpose.
  3. Article

    This case study shows how HSBC, a financial services company, created a social media campaign to engage with students in the UK.

  4. Article

    This case study demonstrates how Halifax, the UK's third largest bank, revamped its social strategy to stand out from competition.

  5. Article

    This article demonstrates how behavioural economics (BE) is being employed to improve public and business policies.

  6. Article

    Argues that traditional segmentation methods are too rigid and narrow for today's more individualistic markets.
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