Best Advertising Campaign
The battle for commuters’ attention has been heating up. On the London Underground, it feels like every other ad is trying to push the latest fintech or challenger bank to the city’s tired travellers.
Whether all of this advertising budget is warranted (or just a way to give VCs that prestige feeling) is questionable, but it’s still been fun to see a range of brands put on their Sunday best to try and sell themselves.
Winner: ANNA’s Meowing Card
Our favourite from 2018 was the small business bank account ANNA, which burst into the public consciousness with a set of pretty bus ads and a truly strange three-minute video about a ‘card that miaows’. Despite having launched only months ago (Autumn 2018), ANNA are attracting some serious investment, recently announcing £8.5m in funding from Kinetic. The platform currently boasts over 3,500 users, which could have been contributed to by the success of their campaign.
While other banks have gone down the high production video route, not all have been this successful (Starling’s naked ads felt pretty uncomfortable). Instead of attempting to explain any of the app’s features, ANNA’s video charts the progress of the hapless Tim Webb as he searches for the perfect miaow to accompany the company’s contactless card use. All in all, it’s weird and fun.
We wanted a card innovation that would make people take notice of ANNA, and after coming up with over different 100 ideas, a miaowing debit card seemed like the obvious choice. It's what our customers want, and more importantly it's what they need
Daljit Singh - Anna, Chief Design Officer
Love it or hate it, this ad is a great market entrance strategy for a relatively unknown product. Combining cats and comedians has all the makings of a viral video, and it seems to have paid off: the video has clocked up nearly 300,000 views in the first month (significantly more than your average product explainer video).
Now, we’re happy to hold up our hands and say that we live in a bit of a fintech bubble (as you, dear reader, probably do too), but it’s a rare product press release that really sparks our interest. This was not the case when the ANNA video got posted in our Slack channel and promoted plenty of debate (both positive and negative). For us, that’s the sign of a good viral marketing campaign.
Coming in at second place is mortgage fintech Habito, which is our runner-up for their London Tube and Bus ads. One of the ads makes use of some seriously eye-catching artwork from California-based artist Jimbo Phillip whilst the other employs a nice clear piece of copy around why Habito exists.
These campaigns might not have the whimsy of the N26 ads or the in-jokes of Monzo’s first foray into paid campaigns at scale, but we like the clarity of message and the design choices that Habito are providing.
You can see just how clear the journeys are for yourself over at 11:FS Pulse.