From 'who?' to hero: How Santander became king of the switchers

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2016


At the end of 2009, Santander didn't exist as a UK high-street brand. Within six years, the bank had emerged as ‘king of the switchers’, taking share from competitors that had dominated the market for decades. This is the story of advertising’s contribution to Santander’s growth. By disrupting the usual retail banking communications model, deploying a media strategy that exploited a short window of opportunity, and developing a convention-challenging approach that featured ambassadors from sport such as Jessica Ennis-Hill, communications drove 27 per cent of the bank’s account openings. The estimated net profit return from the activity was £2.22 for every £1 invested between March 2012 and March 2016.

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“We’ve learned never to be complacent. If it’s not working, change it, but conversely if it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it.”

Rachel Baynes, Head of Marketing Strategy and Planning
Santander

Winners 2016

Bronze Winner

Title

From 'who?' to hero: How Santander became king of the switchers

Brand

Santander

Client

Santander

Agency

The Engine Group

Principal Authors

  • Rachel Baynes - Santander
  • John Crowther - The Engine Group

Contributing Authors

  • Beatriz Balaguer - Carat
  • Louise Cook - Holmes & Cook
  • Grace Kite - Gracious Economics
  • Victoria Nicholson - Santander
  • Stuart Williams - The Engine Group

Credited Companies

  • The Engine Group - Creative Agency
  • Havas Worldwide - Creative Agency

This was a clear, solid case. They had a really big job to do and they did a very, very good job and explained it incredibly well. Ed Aspel, Cancer Research UK

Shortlist 2016

Bronze Winner

Title

From 'who?' to hero: How Santander became king of the switchers

Brand

Santander

Client

Santander

Agency

The Engine Group

Principal Authors

  • Rachel Baynes - Santander
  • John Crowther - The Engine Group

Contributing Authors

  • Beatriz Balaguer - Carat
  • Louise Cook - Holmes & Cook
  • Grace Kite - Gracious Economics
  • Victoria Nicholson - Santander
  • Stuart Williams - The Engine Group

Credited Companies

  • The Engine Group - Creative Agency
  • Havas Worldwide - Creative Agency

This was a clear, solid case. They had a really big job to do and they did a very, very good job and explained it incredibly well. Ed Aspel, Cancer Research UK

From 'who?' to hero: How Santander became king of the switchers

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2016


At the end of 2009, Santander didn't exist as a UK high-street brand. Within six years, the bank had emerged as ‘king of the switchers’, taking share from competitors that had dominated the market for decades. This is the story of advertising’s contribution to Santander’s growth. By disrupting the usual retail banking communications model, deploying a media strategy that exploited a short window of opportunity, and developing a convention-challenging approach that featured ambassadors from sport such as Jessica Ennis-Hill, communications drove 27 per cent of the bank’s account openings. The estimated net profit return from the activity was £2.22 for every £1 invested between March 2012 and March 2016.

Click to purchase this case study >