Oh sure, it’s great to be able to do everything online now isn’t it, so cheap, so cool, so scalable. But what do you do when everyone else is online too?

Flipping heck, even the Argos Catalogue has gone digital. How are we supposed to stand out now?

(Can we have a minute’s silence please for the loss of photos such as these.)


Some companies are already on this. In a bid to cut through, they’re stripping right back.

Like a double bluff.

Take this advert for agency London Advertising. It’s a repetition of the name London Advertising narrated by Judi Dench with the words London Advertising on a green background. That’s it.

Brew Dog did something similar last year when it created an advert saying ‘Advert on a bus’. Which is very punk.

But is it just a fad or a longer-term trend?

May be it’s here to stay. In real life, pared back simplicity has been given a PR boost by the lockdown.

Here we are doing jigsaws, baking bread and going to the seaside on our holidays. We thought in the 60s it would be all flying cars, jet packs and space meals in 2020.

In the words of the George Best anecdote, where did it all go wrong?

Perhaps it’s gone right.

Now that we have this stark contrast and deliberate choice between fast and slow, slick and clunky, hi-tech and analogue, I think it will make everyone more aware of it when it comes to marketing.

People are already increasingly sophisticated and discerning. They can sniff out a stock photo, a cheesy phrase and a pretentious piece of jargon a mile off.

They can see when a company is trying to hide something by withholding information or saying something indirect, overly formal or grandiose.

They know it doesn’t have to be this way. They’ve seen the alternatives with their Revolut cards and their Starling Banks.

The good news for you is that on the whole financial services is still notoriously dull, stuffy and dry, which means there’s still a massive opportunity to cut through with something real, pared down and direct.

So now is the time to loosen your tie and let your hair down.

It’s a lot easier post-lockdown: now that clients have seen your bookshelf on Zoom, you’re half-way there.

Marketing specialist, word nerd and story lover. I help financial advisers drive engagement through creative comms. Good to meet you. www.faithliversedge.co.uk