BBH London

Core disciplines: Advertising/Creative, Brand strategy, Integrated marketing

One of the Top 30 most viewed agencies for 2017


Purpose Pays


The financial crisis and subsequent Libor-fixing scandal hit Barclays hard in the UK.
By 2012 Barclays was the least trusted brand in the least trusted sector.
This drop in trust made a significant and sustained dent in Barclays’ business performance, particularly in its UK retail banking division.

By late 2012 it was clear that a new direction and business strategy would be necessary to restore confidence in Barclays and to help restore its business performance.


The turnaround plan centred on the key conclusion that only a business driven by a strong purpose and values can deliver strong, sustainable returns.
Barclays’ new purpose, ‘Helping people achieve their ambitions – in the right way’, was rooted in a genuine brand truth: Barclays has a proud 325 year history of helping customers achieve their ambitions in ways that are of broader benefit to the economy and society. Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK, gave this vision a tangible role in society, articulating that in the upheaval of the Digital Revolution, Barclays should be helping to ‘take everyone forward and leave no-one behind’.

With such a clear lead from above, initiatives directly inspired by the new purpose began to spring up from the grassroots, many personally championed by individual colleagues. Once demoralised and disempowered, Barclays’ people began to feel inspired to instigate and lead projects they were passionate about personally as well as professionally.
Our purpose-driven campaigns shone a light on three key initiatives that were driven by Barclays new purpose: Digital Eagles, LifeSkills and Code Playground.

Digital Eagles 

We told emotional stories of the older generation as they were helped by Barclays Digital Eagles to get online and connect with friends, family and hobbies from the past.


  • 117,000 unique visitors to the webpage and 1,447 ‘Tea & Teach’ sessions undertaken in branch (vs. a target of 500) and to date around 6,746 sessions have taken place.

  • 4,500 new Barclays colleagues volunteered to become Digital Eagles: the total now stands at 16,080. 


Young people who had experienced the LifeSkills workshop shared their learning.experiences, including in-depth educational content to help young people present their best selves when applying for jobs.


  • 35,381 young people and 5,540 teachers have signed up to LifeSkills as a result of the 2014 campaign.

  • 2.5m young people have now participated in a LifeSkills course since it was created in 2013.

Code Playground

This was a fun interactive coding tutorial that could be experienced online and offline, designed to give kids and parents their first taste of coding: the new language for the new economy. We showed kids as they experienced the session itself, even teaching their own parents the basics and partnering with Mumsnet to get their reviews.


  • 610,000 unique visitors, who each coded on the site for an average of 3 mins: a total of 30,000 hours of coding

  • 4000 children booked places on the in-branch code playground sessions during the campaign

  • 6m views of the various educational videos for social channels

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