If you have been seeing flying question marks or spinning ferris wheels on your TV, you may have noticed that a couple of well-known wealth firms have taken the plunge into the world of TV advertising.
In financial services, the television has normally been the preserve of banks, insurers and payday lenders, but both Tilney and Octopus have been carrying out high profile marketing campaigns.
So what was behind the decision, how do you devise the concept and then how do you measure its success, down the line?
For Tilney Group, the move was designed to reinforce its new corporate identity after the company rebranded from Tilney Bestinvest back in January
Kirsty Puplett, the firm’s brand consultant, said: ‘We wanted to go out and realign our brand and take it to the market. We’ve done national press and posters, then we wanted to test different options, such as social media, digital advertising and TV, and see which is the most effective.’
Similarly, Octopus moved to a group structure earlier this year and wanted to raise awareness of the scale and breadth of its operations, which now operate under its ‘masterbrand’.
Behind the concept
Chief executive Simon Rogerson said this is the firm’s biggest ever marketing campaign, underlining the scale of its ‘ambitious mission to be in every home across the UK by 2030’.
‘People tend to know us for just one part of our business and so we want to educate the market on the breadth and scale of Octopus and the shared mission uniting each of the companies within the group,’ he said.
‘We want to communicate to people that they can get the same experience in different areas, whether it’s using Octopus to supply their energy, provide an investment solution or benefit from Octopus’ work in building care homes, hospitals or GP surgeries across the country.’
He said that film is ‘by far the best medium to tell a story’, with Octopus’s being its mission to ‘transform broken industries and create better outcomes for customers’. The advert features the aforementioned feathery question marks (see screen grab, right/wherever) and is both quirky and memorable.
Others have taken a more conventional approach. Tilney’s ad is tailored to resonate with the core demographic of people over 50 who ‘are at the life stage when they start thinking about themselves and their lifestyle,’ Puplett said.
‘We know it’s personal, helping people plan for their life goals and objectives. The campaign is designed to show that whatever your aspirations, be it retiring, spending more time with family or simply just winding down, we can help with your individual requirements.’
UBS SmartWealth carried out a TV advertising campaign earlier this year, featuring a man’s life from birth to old age and the milestones passed along the way.
The Swiss private bank worked with Publicis to create the advert and the agency’s executive creative director Dave Monk said the aim was to show that banking is more than just ‘hard numbers’.
‘This campaign plays on the idea that even a cold hard digit can have a personal meaning, from the time of your child's birth, the door number of the family home, or the number plate of your first car,’ he said.
‘We've tried to create work that puts some heart into the banking world…and find a way to connect with people.’
Measuring the impact
Analysing the impact of any ad campaign can never be an exact science, but improvements in technology enable TV ads to now be highly targeted in similar way to digital ones.
Tilney used SkyAdSmart, which enables the ads to be directed at individuals of a certain demographic, such as by age or income, which can be determined by Experian data, for example.
‘TV has historically been mass market and mainly for retail. We are not a mass market proposition, so as a brand it would have previously been wasteful, but technology is opening up TV as a means to target relevant people,’ Puplett said.
‘Sky can tell us the peak times of the adverts airing and we track it back and look at the web hits.’
The campaign finished last weekend, so Tilney can now start attribution modelling to try and understand how people both find and then engage with its website, for example asking new visitors how
Rogerson pointed out that as well as mainstream channels, ads can also be targeted at Video On Demand (VOD), which are growing ever more popular, broadening their reach.
‘We’ll measure this at the end of the campaign, which lasts until the end of November, using many of the standard performance metrics, such as online engagement and brand awareness analysis, but we’re already feeling the benefits of the campaign with anecdotal feedback from both existing and future customers who have seen it,’ Rogerson said
Many wealth firms remain unconvinced and wary of the cost of TV advertising, favouring other routes.
Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott said the firm considered it years ago, but ‘it was expensive and you have to do it consistently’.
‘We focus on our communications effort and see more value in being associated with guidance,’ he added.
As a recently launched online wealth manager, Investec Click & Invest is favouring an online approach with CEO Jane Warren saying: ‘Right now we are finding better avenues and we are doing a lot around social media, which is working well for us.’
Whether those companies that have opted to advertise on TV choose to do so in the future could provide an interesting barometer of how successful they felt their campaigns were.