Humor in Financial Advertising, Example #4: Nationwide Building Society

Laura Pryor 03/06/23 - 3:33 pm

Creating a campaign that encourages people to save money is like promoting the advantages of eating more vegetables—everyone already knows they should be doing it, so an ad listing the reasons why might just be annoying. But how do you make the subject of saving fun and entertaining? British bank Nationwide Building Society didn’t even try to do it themselves. To create their 2019 PayDay = SaveDay campaign, they went straight to the humor experts: standup comedians.

Nationwide’s ad agency VCCP organized a night of stand-up comedy with a live audience, featuring several up-and-coming comedians. Each comic was asked to give their own take of the subject of money management and saving. Maisie Adam complains that her poor money skills make it too painful to even play Monopoly, while Sunil Patel doubts whether his Future Self really deserves his Present-Day Self’s sacrifice. Other comedians riff on rationing money during an evening out and tackling the expenses of raising children.

The agency filmed the night of comedy and used the best bits to create a series of ads, each of which ends with the advice, “It’s easier to save if you do it the day you’re paid.”

Why we love it

The humor from the standup comedians is relatable because it comes from their own personal experiences with money. And since in the standup world, “up-and-coming” is just another term for “not making much money,” these comedians aren’t coming from the viewpoint of bank customers with money to burn, which makes them even more relatable for the average viewer.

Wisely, the agency didn’t attempt to script the jokes for the comedians, but just let them riff on the subject of money. While it makes the campaign a little uneven—some bits are funnier than others—it also makes it more authentic.

Another thing we love is that the entire campaign has one simple, consistent message: Save money on pay day. There’s no list of the advantages of Nationwide’s savings accounts, current interest rates or minimum balance requirements. There’s a laugh, a lesson, and a logo.

All of which makes Nationwide come off as a bank that really stands up for its customers’ best interests.

This is post #4 in our blog series, Funny Money: Using Humor in Financial Advertising.

Blog Category: Financial Services

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