Shortlisted 2016

Financial Services



Lead Agency



The Challenge

In 2008 the Global Crisis changed banking forever and UBS was hit hard. By 2015 it had been through a significant strategic transformation and confidence and respect was beginning to return to the business. UBS wanted to signal this transformation showing the world that it had changed.

After its extensive restructure, UBS believed it was ahead of its competitors in terms of focusing on client needs, and wanted to tell that story to a world that was becoming more receptive. But more than this they wanted to emphasize their point of difference and evolve their brand to set themselves apart from other banks and win in the marketplace.

To achieve this they would have to change perception of their core audience – High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI). Not only are these people busy and time-poor but they are notoriously difficult to find and even harder to engage with communications. This is hardly surprising given that they are bombarded with information throughout the day and research showed that often felt poorly understood by financial advertising and talked to in a stereotypical way.

UBS’ goal was to position themselves as human, modern and different from their competition – with a strong focus on their clients and their individual needs. UBS also wanted to install a sense of pride in their employees so they would recommend UBS to friends and family as a place to work and bank.

The Strategy

We broke free from the clichés of financial services advertising to engage people on a more human and emotional level using media channels that they preferred and that reflected their actual lives.

We acknowledged that wealth is about more than just money and built empathy by showing we understood and embraced people’s own goals as our own. We posed questions that spanned different life-stage moments and that talk about both financial and non-financial challenges. These questions had obvious and not so obvious financial implications and were designed to
provoke curiosity to find out more and to stimulate conversation.

As this was an international campaign it was important that the creative idea worked across cultures and audiences – and that it ultimately connects with the bank’s desire to position themselves as a modern, human and different.

The creative messaging stays clear of the usual cliché financial communication and instead is built on a series of emotive Life’s Questions that the clients might be asking themselves such as: Am I a good father? Do I spend too much time at work? Can I have it all? only lightly touching upon financial implications of these decision.

Bespoke research together with research from Bloomberg’s Billionaire’s team gave us invaluable information into the concerns of our audience – from Succession planning to familial inheritance and the global economy.

We also uncovered unique insights that helped inform our planning. For example we prioritised distribution of content via Bloomberg on private jets and 1st class flights as the Bloomberg Billionaires team discovered this was a rare time when our audience consumed content unrelated to their daily

Broadcast media (TV, OOH, Print, Digital takeovers) were used to drive stand out and stature working with carefully selected premium partners such as Bloomberg, FT, The Economist, Monocle, LinkedIn and Forbes.

We invested more than half our budget in digital to reflect the progressive habits of our audience but Digital channels also allowed us to add more depth to the rebranding ensuring that the rebranding communications didn’t remain at the 1,000 foot view. Digital media provided more information and brought people back to a content-rich website intended to show the brand’s commitment to finding answers. We also expanded our conversation from the financial and business pages to include more lifestyle environments
and then continued this conversation in digital channels.

The Implementation

On Sept 2015 UBS relaunched their Brand Campaign focusing on 10 priority markets (UK, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, US, Mexico, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Taiwan). The campaign launched with a 360 integrated media plan across digital display, video, search, social, print, TV, and key OOH sites.
Traditional broadcast media were key to building the reach, stature and brand.

However, our competitors are present in these channels too so we had to go a step further. To stretch our budget across 10 markets and 4 months so we needed to be smart and efficient in the way we differentiated UBS from its competitors. To reduce wastage we focused on highly targeted media investing 60% of our budget in Digital across Display, Mobile, Video, Search and Social.

Our core media planning principle was to use digital and data to deliver personal brand messages to the right audiences and create the perception that ‘‘UBS is the brand for me’’. Once we created this perception Digital channels allowed us to continue a rich dialogue between UBS and their audience.
We also used multiple, real time, data sources to define people’s interests and locations and used this to inform online display and targeting. We also used sequential messaging across devices to ensure people accessing UBS
content on their mobile and tablet didn’t receive the same creative message twice.

A content calendar on extended our activity across the year and helped build our thought leader reputation. And, also with Bloomberg, we also produced a 6 part TV series (with an extension onto
about the changing definition of philanthropy talking to 6 young and successful global business leaders that have set up philanthropic projects.

Innovative creative executions added further depth to the campaign getting people to reconsider UBS as ‘traditional’ bank and further differentiating them from their competitors. These partnerships including a media first interactive
Media Wall at London City Airport this allowed users to interact with bespoke content and create a playlist that they can sent to their devices to enjoy during their flight.

In addition, the brand has started a two-year series of more than 40 video interviews with Nobel Laureates. Each Laureate represents someone at the forefront of economic knowledge and they add depth to the campaign by
addressing some of the biggest questions in economics – these are the questions that are helping to shape the world.

The Result

Our broadcast activity reached millions of our audience but it is the impact of our campaign that is most remarkable. In the 3 months after launch proud UBS employees and clients have taken the time to write and say how they feel understood by the bank – more remarkably CMO’s of major competitors have commented about its impact.
• Journalists wrote over 400 articles in the first 3 months creating over 405 million PR and advertising
• Amongst our time- pressed, cynical audience 12.8 million people took the time to view our videos all the way
• More than 1million people visited the UBS site to find out more about the campaign
• 7.5 million social engagements were created as people like, shared and talked about the campaign
• The UBS and Bloomberg Media partnership delivered over 15.5 million impressions with people reading over
5,800 pages and spending an average of 3.2 minutes per page.
• And , although it is still early days, over 9,000 budding entrepreneurs have seen ‘Good Fortunes’ series
• And people engaged with our content – we had an average click through rate for our videos of 4 times the sector average and Display generated CTR rate ten times the category average.

And more importantly perception of UBS changed with every market seeing a double digit shift in perception to a bank which is more human, modern and different.