How fintech brands are changing the way we talk about money

Banking has been attempting to change its tone of voice for decades. But it’s the start-ups that are truly exploring a new way to write about money, writes Nick Asbury

If you want to experience a disorienting sense of perspective on the branding and advertising industry, I recommend having a look through the Creative Review digital archive [available to all subscribers]. Before writing this article, I looked up ‘banking’ and scrolled through pages of half-remembered campaigns intended to revolutionise a stuffy old banking sector.

There’s NatWest in 1983 using blocky graphics to appeal to students, in the days when the aim was to lock people in early and keep their custom for life. There’s First Direct launching in 1989 with a Wolff Olins-created black and white identity and a ‘time-travelling’ ad, where the idea was that First Direct was celebrating its 21st anniversary by travelling back from an impossibly futuristic 2010. Even the future is nine years ago now.