M&C Saatchi

Core disciplines: Advertising/Creative, Digital

NatWest, We are what we do 

If ever there was a category with brands that needed repositioning, modernising and rejuvenating, its banking. Almost 10 years after the financial crisis, most of the UK banks that caused it had continued to market themselves as though nothing had happened. Promoting very similar products and services, in forgettable frivolous campaigns, there was little to differentiate them in the minds of consumers. NatWest wanted to change that.

The Strategy

To achieve a genuine rejuvenation of the bank we needed a single platform that would unite and galvanize its 60,000 employees, as well as change the way its Business and Consumer customers saw it. Our strategy was to do that by taking responsibility – something no other bank had come close to doing. We would publically acknowledge to the British public that we have made mistakes in the past, and make a commitment to live by our actions going forward. This was found to have real power. For the general public it chimed with the mood, fitting with the rejection of spin and hollow promises that were seen to define the age, and for the internal audience it created a sense of pride and dignity as the bank was seen to be drawing a line in the sand and moving on.

The Platform is: We are what we do

The Activity 

Initially launched internally with a campaign celebrating the things that the bank and its employees do to make a difference in British society, the consumer activity started in September 2016 with a fully integrated campaign encompassing ATL, PR, eCRM, Social, Branch and partnership activity. At the same time every part of the bank’s comms were reskinned using a new VI that injected greater energy and warmth into the brand.

This year will see the bank launch and promote a series of product and service propositions that have been directly informed by We are what we do. It has become more than a line, acting as a yard stick against which all of banks actions are measured, and pushing them on to do things which are informed by customer need and have real social value.


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