Revolut’s ad focuses on easy consumer investing – but is the timing right?

Alex Sword


The Financial Services Forum

Revolut has launched a major advertising campaign focused on the ease of conducting financial transactions.

The advert, unveiled this week, offers consumers “Your Way In” to all things money. It opens with a stereotypical scene of suited City stockbrokers on a trading floor, before a Revolut user in a dressing gown abruptly bursts through the wall and starts buying their own stocks through the app.

The ad goes on to depict other people crashing through walls and conducting financial transactions with ease using their Revolut app, whether paying for a coffee, investing in cryptocurrency or sending money to friends.

With a light-hearted tone and explicit contrast between its users and the finance “experts” advert does a good job of reinforcing Revolut’s positioning as a disruptor. It is the company’s first major brand campaign and follows neobank rivals such as Starling increasing investment in their brands.

The ad was created in partnership with ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, and is premiering on TV today (26 August) during the 8PM Coronation Street ad break, as well as on social media.

There will also be adverts on out-of-home billboards, video-on-demand (VoD), digital marketing channels and podcasts. The out-of-home ads aim to continue to break stereotypes, with one showing a picture of a young woman with the caption “This is a money guy”.


Easy investing

A prominent aspect of the advert was its focus on getting into investing.

During the pandemic there was a boom in consumers buying their own stocks and shares as a way to achieve returns on their savings from a huge reduction in day-to-day spending. Apps such as Robin Hood and Freetrade made it easier for first-time investors to jump into the stock market.

The question is whether this boom in consumer investing will last as many of the background drivers for it fade away. A huge surge in the cost of living is reducing people’s excess savings, while a slow but steady rise in interest rates may increase the attractiveness of traditional savings accounts and discourage speculation.

While the double-digit inflation might drive anxiety about the value of savings being eroded, customers plunging their money into investments is far from a solution.

For example, Revolut’s advert shows a woman buying cryptocurrency. The price of the most famous cryptocurrency, bitcoin, rose over 500% during 2020 and 2021, but since the beginning of this year has fallen 48%.

Cryptocurrencies have long been widely critiqued for being speculative assets with little demonstrable practical value, but even blue chip stocks have suffered this year. The FTSE 250 has lost around a fifth of its value in 2022 after nearly tripling in value since the beginning of 2009.

It remains to be seen whether messaging around easy investing will continue to cut through as favourable conditions for equities such as quantitative easing and low interest rates disappear.

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