Santander’s Deadliest Dupes is a great example of a bank being playful about identity fraud

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Santander’s Deadliest Dupes is a great example of a bank being playful about identity fraud

The Background

Online fraud is obviously increasingly relevant for a lot of brands, especially banks. 

In recent months, banks have shown a willingness to approach the very serious subject, not-so-seriously. 

Clearly they are focusing on storytelling and capturing attention more than overt branding and I wonder if it’s working for them? 

Last year I wrote about HSBC’s deep fake technology spoof with Rachel Riley (which was neatly executed and started a trend still running) and this time Santander’s campaign has caught my eye. 

I expect it has caught the eye of many people, but the key question is whether the public’s take-out has matched the brand’s objectives.

The Big Idea

Santander decided that Kurupt FM and MC Grindah (the ‘lyrical and literal bad man’) are best placed to educate us all on the dangers of identity fraud online.

What They Did

A mockumentary guide to avoiding identity fraud. 

A digitally-led campaign featuring long and short-form content plus an online hub.

Review

This is a great campaign. 

I saw the ‘The Identity Thief’ spot first but ‘The Online Scammer’ featuring Chabuddy G is even better. 

As a Kurupt FM fan who works next to Brentford I’m perhaps biased, but there is no doubt this comedic, in-character content is the best way to engage young people in a boring subject matter. 

Mockumentary marketing is a tried and tested path and ‘light’ content is becoming increasingly symptomatic of how banks are choosing to create content. 

Fraud isn’t an easy-to-swallow subject, but these spots – and especially the teasing and nicely designed social content – make it so. 

Fraud doesn’t naturally lend itself to shareable content, but this is. 

In that sense, Santander is no doubt winning. 

More people are going to see this because it’s funny and lightly branded. 

But herein lies the problem that all brands have faced at some point in time – is it worth the sacrifice? 

Will people make the connection to Santander (and change their perception of the bank) or will they miss it?

In Hindsight

I think it is onto a winner. 

As a digitally-led campaign, the content itself can have a really light brand touch because it’s all housed on Santander’s pages. 

People absorb the brand logo quickly and easily – it’s basically unmissable. A lot of brands seem to think that hosting content isn’t enough and that the logo has to appear front-and-centre in the first two seconds. Unless perhaps it’s an Instagram story, it’s just not necessary. It simply puts people off. 

So, well done Santander; confident and funny. I hope it pays off.

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Oliver Francis

Oliver Francis

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