Barclaycard to adopt new strategic approach with ‘Start Today’ branding

A new campaign that showcases the credit card brand’s contactless payment solutions is part of a new approach as it looks to talk about both the functional and emotional sides of the brand.

Barclaycard is incorporating a “new strategic approach” into its marketing in order to  create a more aspirational and youthful message around its brand.

The idea is to create balance by first talking up the functional element of the services Barclaycard provides and then showing more emotional brand advertising later in the year.

Subsequently, this week, Barclaycard has launched the ‘Pay Your Way’ campaign, which shows how everything from cards to mobile apps and wearable bracelets can enable one girl to make important life decisions thanks to contactless payments. The 20-week campaign will start off in cinemas before being distributed through social channels.

Although the girl (pictured above) in the ad is fictional, the campaign will be followed in July with two real-life examples – including Martin Heald, a defender with the England Amputee Football team – that aim to show how contactless payment devices can support more diverse needs.

Barclayscard is also exploring whether to adopt a more localised approach to advertising its contactless solutions in the future, in a bid to help contactless adoption rates grow in areas outside of the major cities such as London.

The Start Today strategy

The campaign is part of a new strategic approach and slogan by Barclaycard that it refers to as ‘Start Today’.

“Start Today is the new brand creative positioning and we’re using it as a line in the ‘Pay Your Way’ campaign before really going large with it on above-the-line channels in September,” says Barclaycard’s global head of brand strategy Andrew Hogan, speaking to Marketing Week.

“It is about bringing to life the insight that we all have something we would like to do or dream about doing. It could be about paying for piano lessons to become a pianist or buying a laptop to become an author. Barclaycard has to make it clearer to consumers that we can play an integral role in this journey.”

He also admits the brand has made a conscious decision to become more youthful in its approach. It wants to build on the work it did around its 50th anniversary, which included ‘dance bots’ and heavy use of Snapchat to appeal to younger shoppers.

“This is much more youthful than the way Barclaycard has advertised in the past and more aspirational to an extent,” he says. “We want to build on the work we did around our 50th anniversary, which was all around how we enable British shopping due to our work behind and in front of the counter.”

I would say we are still investing heavily in social, but a lot more wisely too.

Andrew Hogan, Barclaycard

When asked if the campaign’s social media grounding is a bit of a risk given the scandals currently engulfing Google and Facebook, Hogan claims: “We are investing heavily in social but at the same time we’re keeping a very close eye on the delivery and metrics [on Google and Facebook]. I would say we are still investing heavily in social, but a lot more wisely too.”

Hogan says Barclaycard’s British Summer Time festival, which includes one-off shows in London’s Hyde Park this year by the likes of Phil Collins and Justin Bieber, has also helped the brand appeal more to younger consumers; a demographic that’s typically less trusting of financial brands.

He concludes: “It gives us something to talk about and to engage with young people with. When you talk to anyone about financial services it is hard to get them excited. But if you talk to them about getting access to their favourite pop star then it’s less of a challenge.”

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