Ikano Bank are a Swedish business that have been established in the UK for over 25 years providing B2B financial services. Arch won a pitch to work as creative agency to help launch Ikano Bank direct to consumer.
Ikano Bank subvert the stereotype when it comes to blandness in banking. They’re the sister company of IKEA and, as proud Swedes, their heritage filters through into the way they think about branding.
Their Swedish culture, branding and mission statement (“Simplifying the lives of the many”) had a huge impact on the creative route we developed for launch. We had to tailor our response to provide the most “bang for buck” – close collaboration with Ikano Bank’s PR and Media agencies was a must.
The campaign was all oriented around simplicity. This was played out directly through the messaging and tone of voice, and indirectly through the design.
Our multi-channel response comprised:
Taking the Simplicity approach further the ‘Reluctant Marketeers’ approach was formed. We ribbed the clichés and sloganeering of traditional banks and raised a smile in the process. The resulting tone was simple, humorous and Swedish. Our ads were placed in a breadth of publications including The Times, Metro, Guardian and Evening Standard.
Our approach was aligned with a radio campaign. The tone of voice was brought to life with an authentic Swede. We sourced voice actor Alan Adler to front the campaign, wrote the scripts and directed the recording via video link to Stockholm. Have a listen to the ads here.
As part of the overall PR activity we produced a white paper: A Simpler Britain. This was a philosophically themed work which asked the British public about simplicity and how a simple ethos impacted their lives. A bank doing philosophy. Who’d have thought?
Ikano had a bit of help from esteemed modern thinker Alain De Botton and The School of Life. We brought the paper to life with a series of illustrations from which we later created a series of animations. We also added some conceptual flair with the “Break in case of complexity” glass box.
Since 2015, we’ve been helping Ikano with their sponsorship of the Robin Hood Marathon in Nottingham. This is a great event for Ikano to get involved with. Firstly it’s local to their UK HQ, and secondly the event participants encompass many of their target audience demographics.
The event enables Ikano to express some of the brand’s key attributes – with simple direct messages of encouragement.
We also enlisted the help of Paralympic gold medallist and world record holding marathon runner Richard Whitehead. On our advice, Ikano got Richard involved as an ambassador and he’s involved with the promotion of the marathon every year.
Marketing Manager “Arch are a fantastic creative partner. They understand our business and deliver consistently on time and within budget. They offer ideas that add value and exceed our expectations in terms of execution. They are agile, value adding and competitively priced.”
“Arch are a fantastic creative partner. They understand our business and deliver consistently on time and within budget. They offer ideas that add value and exceed our expectations in terms of execution. They are agile, value adding and competitively priced.”