BNY Mellon ‘considers everything’ in rebrand

credit: Havas
credit: Havas

The 236 year-old bank showed off its big rebrand with a custom New York Times crossword puzzle and a unique podcast spot.

Consider everything. That’s not just a shiny tagline for BNY Mellon — the bank really lives and breathes it.

A year ago, the 236-year old bank engaged Havas to help breathe new life into its custodial  brand. BNY Mellon, according to Israel Garber, global executive creative director at Havas, is highly advanced technically, but “wasn’t getting the credit it deserved.”

“They were being labeled as an old, irrelevant brand from an advertising standpoint,” Garber said. “At the time they were going through a digital transformation and they needed to attract fresh talent. So we said, let's stop talking about history.”

Havas was engaged to build a new brand platform and design system, overhaul the website, and hit the right color system. The goal was to elevate the brand from being seen as “dependable and sturdy” to something that felt more “innovative and tech-forward,” Garber said.

In brainstorming sessions, the team at Havas came to understand that BNY Mellon is “more thorough than most,” that they “leave no stone unturned when it comes to providing a solution,” Garber said. That led them to land on the concept of ‘Consider Everything.’ 

BNY Mellon looks at everything from multiple angles. Havas wanted to reflect this in a way that avoided the typical dry, reliable approach most banks take. Realizing that most business decision makers are at home during COVID-19, Havas focused the marketing campaign for the rebrand on two primary activations: a multiple perspective New York Times crossword puzzle, and a slowed down ad for podfasters -- people who listen to podcasts at 2x speed.

The puzzle was the first of its kind. Created in collaboration with the Times, BNY presented two clues for each answer, asking the puzzler to consider different angles as they worked through it. A crossword puzzle not only gave people a longer experience with the brand (puzzles can take hours to complete), but provided stimulating, intellectual entertainment for finance and business leaders stuck at home.

“These people are striving for things that can open their minds,” Garber said. “Our feeling was, let’s make something that gives them something. How do we show a little more humanity on behalf of this bank?”

The podcast ad aired in The Economist’s “Money Talks.” The idea was to show that because the bank really considers everything, it can acknowledge that some people listen to podcasts fast, while others listen at regular speed. 

“What if we slipped an ad into a podfaster’s feed that goes at regular speed?” Garber said. That would cause the podfaster listening to pause and notice the ad.

Ultimately, the activations served as “two really nice ways of appealing to intelligent, sophisticated people who may be in finance but are also people and at home,” listening to a podcast or reaching for the Sunday Times, Garber explained.

The overall rebrand aims to display the careful consideration BNY Mellon takes to everything it does, whether it’s offering business services or protecting family assets.


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