October 6, 2021
Standing out as a fintech company takes a PR campaign that’s more than ordinary. The market is crowded, consumers are confused, and there’s a lot of friction stopping potential new customers from leaving behind the traditional banking world. At the same time, there are plenty of ways for fintechs to capture audience attention and make a public statement. Are some better than others? Perhaps. In this article, we dive into three fintech PR campaigns that worked to identify their secret sauce and learn from what made them so successful.
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Online payment provider WePay snagged the title of most memorable fintech marketing stunt of all time way back in 2010, when their team managed to get past security at a PayPal developer conference in San Francisco with a 600-pound block of ice. Of course, this wasn’t just any ice sculpture — frozen inside were stacks of cash and a message spelled out in all-capital letters, ransom note style: “PayPal freezes your accounts”.
WePay used guerrilla tactics to directly call out their biggest competitor, and they chose a venue that would make a splash in the fintech community and attract the press at the same time. Then there was a dash of special sauce that turned the marketing stunt into a fintech PR campaign that worked: the call to action. Beneath the clear message about PayPal users losing access to their cash, WePay added a simple, memorable URL: UnfreezeYourMoney.com.
Directing curious consumers to a website that represents their concern has a big impact compared to the more straightforward sales tactic of linking to a company page. The landing page (which WePay had secured in advance) offered options for both new users and developers, the company’s two main audiences. The day after the stunt, WePay told HubSpot that the campaign resulted in three times their average conversions, a 300% increase in weekly traffic, and a 225% signup increase.
Fintech marketing is full of challenges and opportunities. Check out Fintech Marketing: The Ultimate Guide to learn more.
Financial exchange company Wise (previously known as TransferWise) got the industry’s attention for taking a comedic approach to fintech marketing in their first TV ad campaign: “The Party’s Over”. The company claimed that even though many of its earliest users worked in the banking industry, they still used the Wise platform to transfer money overseas. That became the ad’s storyline — in the video, a young banking professional makes his way through the wreckage of a debaucherous office party. The catch is that the extravagant celebration was paid for by the fees banks charge its everyday clients.
The ad’s protagonist kicks his shoeless feet up on his desk to drive the message home: savvy bankers don’t pay exorbitant fees to transfer money, so why would you? The campaign was effective because it offers a satirical take on the style of classic commercials, blending the disruptive spirit of the fintech industry with the well-documented frustration the average consumer feels about traditional banks. In the end, Wise’s campaign appeals to new users by turning the frustration of realizing they’ve overpaid into the possibility of extra cash in their pockets.
With the “1p Savings Challenge”, British online bank Monzo created a campaign that consumers experience in their own wallets for an entire year. The idea of the annual challenge is to put one penny away into a savings account on January 1st, two pennies on January 2nd, three on January 3rd, and continue that way, adding an additional penny every day until December 31st. On that day, you contribute 365 pennies (or £3.65, since it was a UK campaign), and find that you’ve successfully saved £667.95 over the course of the year.
Although anyone could technically save that way for a year, Monzo built the challenge to combine its own platform with an If This Then That (ITTT) integration. Together, the system works to automatically move the correct daily amount into a special savings pot within the user’s Monzo account.
The main reason the Savings Challenge is on our list of fintech PR campaigns that worked is its attention to its audience. Because Monzo caters primarily to millennials, helping people save is a perfectly matched initiative. Millennials have already lived through two once-in-a-lifetime financial crises, and are struggling under the weight of the economic, ecological, and societal ills they have inherited. Saving more (without giving up lattes and avocado toast) is a very attractive and relevant prospect for Monzo’s millennial audience. With the Savings Challenge campaign, Monzo understood that helping people accomplish their goals and improve their lives is a much easier sell than convincing digital natives to download yet another app.
There’s a lot we can learn from these fintech PR campaigns, like the impact of a strong statement, the power of humor, and the importance of understanding your audience. When it’s time to put those lessons into practice, Moloco can help. Our partners rely on us for everything from dynamic ad creative to transparent e-commerce marketing software. Ready to design your fintech PR campaign? Get in touch today.
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