Marketing in the Financial Services industry has unique challenges.

First, for the most part, products and services offered are identical and the more each brand tries to distinguish them, the more complex those products become, making clear ad messaging difficult. To do so requires a healthy dose of creativity – which appears to be the domain of less mainstream financial institutions.

Second, campaigns that are put together need to work extra hard to ensure potential customers view their organization as trustworthy. We are, after all, talking about people’s hard-earned.

Third, there are the regulatory issues that need to be taken into account. Legal parameters that vary from country to country and state to state are a constantly shifting minefield that marketers need to negotiate carefully. Compliance requirements are always front of mind.

Tricky, huh? Here’s our selection of some great efforts of late…

1. The brilliantly boring Super Bowl Ad – Coinbase

Coinbase dropped $14 million USD currency on a 60 second ad to promote its crypto currency with nothing more than a QR code bouncing around the screen the entire time like an old school screensaver.

Sound like the most boring Super Bowl ad ever? Maybe. But humans are an inquisitive bunch and a lot of them did exactly what Coinbase wanted them to do – that is, point their mobile at the screen. In fact, more than 20 million people did this while the ad played out at half time during Super Bowl 22. Doing so took them to the Coinbase site and a free hit in the world of crypto.

20 million QR read is a crazy return given it probably cost Coinbase less than a thousand bucks to make the ad. But this is where it all went a little pear-shaped. The tidal wave of online traffic crashed the app – an epic fail considering the media outlay. But all was not lost – the share price bumped up by 4 percent on the following Monday – adding a whopping $2b to the market cap.

2. Catch the ad if you can – HomeEquity Bank

Lovely use of talent in this long online ad, featuring the central character in Spielberg’s ‘Catch me if you can.’ No, it’s not DiCaprio – it’s the man himself, Frank W Abagnale. And he’s here, as ex-conman turned FBI advisor, now working with HomeEquity Bank to help older Canadians avoid getting scammed. Very apt. The ‘Grandparent Scam’ profiles the prevalence of older folk being duped during the protracted lockdowns over the last couple of years.

3. The horror movie – Current

This faux trailer for a horror flick is nothing short of brilliant. What’s scarier than having to wait for your pay to get processed by the bank? Not much. And that scary thought is converted into 60 seconds of pure creative bliss in a middle of nowhere road trip with three millennials on board. The trip starts off fun, but goes horribly sideways when they find themselves stranded and out of gas at a deserted petrol station that becomes super spooky because they can’t access their cash. Pure genius from the team that put the work together for financier Current.


Whatever the level of creativity, Brand Management Platforms take care of the very real compliance juggle for Financial Services clients. Eliminating the dangers of legal potholes with an automated system that protects against human error is the future. Find out more at sesimi.com