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How a pink elephant helped this major bank’s rebrand become ‘a big success’

The idea that a cute pink elephant could help boost a financial institution’s brand sounds like a pretty tough sell, but that’s exactly what happened for a major UK bank.

In early 2023, TSB Bank launched the elephant in the room campaign; the idea being that the “financial elephant in the room” isn’t so scary if you engage with the bank’s experts. This also included Tiny the elephant featuring in the campaign.

Appearing at the 2024 Adobe Summit in Las Vegas last week, TSB Bank’s chief marketing officer, Emma Springham, discussed the campaign; both the idea behind the initiative and knowing it wouldn’t be an easy one to get across the TSB Bank board.

However, despite any concern about how Tiny would be received internally and externally, Springham said the campaign was “a big success”.

“Not only externally, where the brand perceptions around innovation, trust and money confidence increased, but also internally,” she said.

“Our staff fell in love with the elephant. We’ve had staff making elephant paint for competitions, knitting little elephants. The response has been amazing.”

The positive reception culminated in Tiny the elephant winning campaign of the year at UK’s Marketing Week awards at the end of last year.

“The external recognition though really helped build trust with the board, that we made the right decision on the rebrand,” Springham said.

Adobe SVP and CMO, digital experience Eric Hall (left) and Emma Springham (right) at 2024 Summit

Springham added that as the board’s trust grew, so did the marketing team’s work, saying that “successful marketing today is the delicate blend between art and science”.

“Art being the brave, creative execution, and science being the data of transformation,” she explained.

“To get by into new ideas, you have to speak the Chief Finance Officer’s language and focus on sustainable growth.”

During her talk, Springham also accepted Adobe’s Maverick award, which “recognizes the groundbreaking company that has fearlessly pioneered innovative customer experiences through imaginative, out-of-the-box strategies and transformative use of Adobe Experience Cloud solutions”.

Mumbrella attended the 2024 Summit as a guest of Adobe.

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