Climate Change Brand Purpose The Drum Awards

How Starling gave the world a seat at the climate change table


By Awards Analyst, writer

June 20, 2022 | 3 min read

Starling Bank won at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022 in the Finance and Professional Services category for its ‘Seat at the Table’ Campaign. Here, we find out more about what went into this successful project...

The brief

Starling has two unchallengeable goals: redefining a bank’s relationship with consumers and redefining a bank’s relationship with the planet. Financial entities have notoriously invested significant sums into fossil fuels, but Starling believes it can do business in a more sustainable way by being branchless, using recycled plastic debit cards and running its offices on renewable energy.

Many consumers are looking for ways brands and banks can help them. The Better Banking Survey revealed that seven out of 10 people would be more likely to choose a bank that had a positive social and environmental impact. However, 45% of consumers are unaware of how brands are working towards sustainability.

To succeed, Starling needed to increase awareness of its brand to over 70% of the UK population and drive people to its website to learn more about its ethical and environmentally sound approach to banking.

The idea

Starling targeted Cop26 in Glasgow. As a result, climate change would temporarily knock Coronavirus off the top of the news agenda and become the dominant conversation in the UK again. This was Starling’s catalyst.

Credibility was critical to achieving its aims and so Starling partnered with YouTuber Jack Harries, one of the biggest names in the climate change space.

Starling wanted to make the statistics more human and bring real stories to the summit at Glasgow. So Harries travelled from the Isles of Scilly, the southernmost point in the UK, to Cop26, collecting stories from people in the UK and around the world to bring to Glasgow and highlight the real problems that climate change is causing them.

He set up an area at Cop26 to air these stories, including interviews with Barack Obama, David Attenborough, Jane Goodall and Starling’s chief executive officer and founder Anne Boden. All of the episodes were broadcast in their entirety on YouTube, with full Starling sponsorship in addition to the content featuring Boden to ensure that they were fully integrated.

‘Seat At The Table’ content was presented by David Attenborough at the Cop26 summit itself and Starling facilitated a projection of its contributors on to the SEC Armadillo in Glasgow, playing every day for the duration of the conference.

The content was then amplified via social media and OOH placements across the UK.

The results

The ‘Seat at the Table’ YouTube series attained over 50m views, by 12 million unique individuals – equivalent to more than 17% of the population of the United Kingdom. Starling’s social media promotion surpassed its benchmark for engagement by more than 500%.

Brand awareness of Starling reached its highest ever levels, at 72%, and saw traffic to the sustainable banking area of its website increase by 300% YoY. Starling also received its highest ever number of personal account applications in the month our series launched.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022. You can see all the winners here.

And check out which of The Drum Awards are currently open for entry.

Climate Change Brand Purpose The Drum Awards

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