Updated: Apr 14, 2021
Lunar is a Danish neobank that describes itself as a “modern bank” for “everyone who wants to manage their money easily and make the most of them”.
They recently launched a new marketing campaign, ‘Bánkage à Trois’, to encourage customers to try out their product without having to leave their old bank. We talked to Will Rust, Head of Brand at Lunar, to find out more.
Will Rust tells us how one of the key barriers to entry they see with potential customers is what they call “The Ostrich Factor”. He says that it “means that no matter how dissatisfied people are with their current, old bank, they just don't want the hassle of changing banks.”
The campaign plays on the 'sex sells' cliché in marketing but infuses an element of comedy to the well-worn trope. Bánkage à Trois uses wordplay to evoke the French expression ménage à trois; most commonly translated to ‘threesome’. Featuring a rewritten version of Plastic Bertrand’s 70s’ classic, “Ça Plane Pour Moi”, the video follows a woman bringing a date back home, only the twist is he finds an old decrepit man in the room. It ends with a message: “Try another bank without leaving your old one.”
The campaign wants to convey “a light-hearted approach to getting another bank, to show that it's actually really easy, while simultaneously showing that your old bank is probably something you want to get rid of anyway”. They wanted to stimulate an emotional response. Lunar knows that even though decisions made in banking and finance are often considered to be rational, emotional impulses actually drive many of the decisions we make when choosing a bank. Fear may be the reason some customers are hesitant to leave their old banks and this campaign comforts them in that regard.
Rust tells us that, as a relative newcomer, they don’t have a long history to uphold. This gives them the flexibility to create their own story as they go and, as Rust puts it, “hopefully [make] history at the same time.”
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“We loved the playful, punky attitude behind [the campaign]”
According to Rust, Lunar conducted a tender between two independent advertising agencies, The Unicorn in Copenhagen and Åkestam Holst in Stockholm and ended up producing the campaign with Åkestam Holst. Lunar wanted to work with agencies that aren’t currently working with any of their competitors, like Danske Bank, Swedbank, DNS or Nordea, and so focused on only two, which isn’t typical in the industry. (Brands normally run a tender between four or more agencies.)
Rust, however, says they worked extensively on the campaign strategy before briefing the agencies. Lunar wants to work on the ‘thinking’ internally, hiring external partners to deliver said ideas. This is apt considering Rust’s area of expertise is creative advertising and marketing strategy.
The campaign makes no reference to restrictions or the pandemic
Rust thinks the general public is suffering from what he describes as ‘Corona-burn’: too many brands are basing their communication on the pandemic. In Rust’s words, “people know, people get it, and people want to just move on.” He thinks watching films that reflect a happier time sits better with customers.
Furthermore, nothing about our current situation changes the process of switching banks. Since the process can be done entirely online – Lunar has no physical branches – COVID-19 hasn’t changed how the bank interacts with its customers.
However, Rust admits that the production process was complex. “Everyone on set had to be tested every day before shooting, [they] all had to wear green wristbands to prove [they] had tested negative, and access to the set itself was very strictly limited.” He also tells us there was a snowstorm in Stockholm while they were filming, which certainly made things more difficult.
Lunar hopes to democratize fintech
“People need to get their heads out of the sand and understand how to [better manage] their money, and the only way to achieve that on a grand scale is for the banks and financial institutions to democratize the knowledge they possess.”
The finance industry was always daunting, but with crypto, blockchain and other technologies, the area has become increasingly crowded and intimidating for consumers. Rust tells us that he wants to continue to work hard to ensure privileged knowledge can be understood by all. He thinks the recent GameStop short squeeze exemplifies how communities can be empowered with access to the right information.