Unloved Capital One makes 9m bid to gain popularity

Capital One is launching a 9m brand campaign that aims to persuade UK consumers to "like" the unpopular financial services brand. It breaks next week, and marks a U-turn in the marketing strategy for the brand.

The campaign executions, – which include television, press, radio and outdoor – are all based around a "We make changing easy" theme, and attempt to move the brand away from the "crab" animation, which has been scrapped in favour of using real people, although the "What’s in your wallet?" strapline has been retained.

Capital One head of brand Justin Basini, who was appointed in January, admits that the company has used direct mail too much in the past, but its use will now be reduced to a minimum. He says that the campaign also marks a change in strategy for the US-owned company because it will not focus on the "hard sell".

The aim of the campaign is to convince consumers that changing is easy, both in life and in financial services. There are three TV spots: two executions focusing on credit card products and one ad for a home-owner "secured loan". The work has been created by DDB London, with media planning and buying through Starcom Group.

As well as above-the-line advertising, Capital One will showcase nine "Lunch and Laugh" events across the country, which will feature a variety of national and regional comedy acts.

Basini says that the activity aims to show that Capital One is a positive brand: "It is about entering consumers’ lives by providing experiences that are entertaining, but are not particularly a hard sell. It will be about people changing their lunchtimes through to changing their credit cards."

Capital One has also hired GMTV "life and motivation expert" Pete Cohen to write a syndicated advertising column in Metro newspapers and star in a www.wemakechangingeasy.com microsite.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here