The Drum Awards Festival - Extended Deadline

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By The Drum, Editorial

December 6, 2023 | 7 min read

Media.Monks and J.P. Morgan Payments have won the Consumer Service category at The Drum Awards for Content. Here is the award-winning case study.

In 2010, the fastest way to move money from New York to London was to board a plane at JFK with a suitcase full of cash and deliver it yourself on arrival in Heathrow. Despite centuries of global trade, payments were still painfully slow and insufficiently secure—limiting how businesses can operate, innovate, and expand.

Today, that just won’t fly. Customer expectations have evolved quickly and dramatically along with the technological advancements we’ve experienced in our personal lives. When it comes to sending, receiving, and managing money, the bar has been raised. This rapid transformation has left businesses around the world clamoring for innovation, scrambling to find the next new thing that will let them gain or maintain a competitive edge. As a result, innovations in payments are increasingly valuable pieces of the strategic puzzle for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Yet if the turbulence in Silicon Valley in early 2023 showed us anything, it’s that focusing on innovation alone can create significant risk. Reliability and resiliency matter equally. The ability to create and deliver what businesses need to thrive doesn’t come from an app or single platform, but the power of true expertise. Real progress—the kind that makes a difference—comes from building enduring foundations that inspire new possibilities.

It was with this mindset that J.P. Morgan Payments was formed in 2021 as a new division of the iconic bank. Founded on the belief that seamless and secure payment solutions can help clients’ businesses grow, diversify, and thrive, J.P. Morgan Payments creates API-powered solutions to enable businesses and their customers to pay anyone, by any method or channel, from anywhere, at any time.

But we faced a serious industry-level problem, deeply rooted in a culture of innovation-worship. The B2B payments industry has a huge blind spot. The primary focus has been on FinTechs. They move fast, break things, and introduce new ways to make payments ever more transactional. This focus created a false binary: Start-up versus Establishment. Agile versus Status Quo. Innovator versus Dinosaur. The only possibility here is either the promise of disruptors or the safety of legacy institutions.

This pervasive way of thinking meant that—with centuries of tradition and no tech origin story, unlike so many VC-funded darlings—J.P. Morgan Payments would struggle to be taken seriously as a trustworthy force for innovation in the FinTech market. The strength of our deep-rooted brand equities became perceived as a deficit, and we could never believably show up like the other FinTech players.

We needed a culture-changing idea that would reframe the industry and transform our legacy from liability into legitimacy—an insight that would get the attention of a sophisticated buying audience clamoring for novel perspectives. To crack the false binary of old school versus new guard, we needed to build a creative platform rooted in a timeless truth—a conversation-shifting perspective we could believably own.

That forgotten, yet fundamental truth—that Payments are messages. Every payment says something more, about the sender, the receiver, and the relationship between the two.

An employee able to cash out instantly says an employer values their needs. A small business accepting different currencies speaks to their ambition to be a part of a global market. And a world able to seamlessly move money across a blockchain announces a commitment to creating accessibility and financial inclusion. Simply put, payments reveal opportunities to grow business, strengthen relationships with customers and suppliers, and fortify operations in fickle economic climates.

And with 200 years of experience, J.P. Morgan Payments understands, speaks, and can translate this language of payments better than anyone. We’ve learned how payments evolve—about what’s worked, what hasn’t, and can predict where payments will go next.

Our clients, prospects, and the industry at-large needed a reawakening. We brought the power of our business story to life through the brand’s first global creative platform: Every Payment Speaks Volumes. An idea that captures the innovative potential of expertise accrued over time, and gives decision-makers a reason to rethink the significance of payments for their business. An idea with a fresh design system that uplevels the J.P. Morgan aesthetic and puts Payments in Motion—decoding the meanings of the transactions taking place all around us. This evolution broke away from the conventions of the banking category and added the flair of a tech-forward brand, building fresh credibility in our look and feel.

We launched Every Payment Speaks Volumes with an integrated 360º campaign and multi-year media strategy to bring our perspective to where a wider range of decision-makers are thinking about the future of money.

At conferences like Money20/20 and ShopTalk, we greeted decision-makers with our creative idea at the moment of arrival in airport terminal halls and intercepted their Uber rides with novel in-app placements when they least expected it. To show we meant business, we created interactive, “art of the possible” experiences around the future of mobility and how the car will transform into a “digital wallet on wheels” while also demonstrating the power of biometric technology to expedite transactions through the use of a consumer’s palm or face.

In partnership with Conde Nast and Wired UK, we concepted Payments Unbound, a cornerstone marketing and client storytelling platform that delivers evergreen, future-casting thought leadership around the rapidly-evolving payments landscape. Now in its third volume, it features subject matter expertise from J.P. Morgan clients, J.P Morgan employees, and industry leaders alongside Wired’s award-winning editorial and illustration staff. It is delivered as a striking printed magazine along with a digital content ecosystem including rich video, webinars and more.

At the F1 Miami Grand Prix, we proved how payments help businesses race for the pole position with a futuristic boutique highlighting the future of personalization within retail and commerce, delivering a seemingly endless aisle of goods for VIP’s to “shop,” while also demonstrating the biometric check out experience (often for their first time).

Finally, we upped the ante and partnered with Paramount Pictures—bringing the transformative potential of the payment-enabled Connected Car to life in trailers for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. At the heart of Every Payment Speaks Volumes is our belief that there’s more to payments than meets the eye, making this surprising partnership a natural fit. Through our novel partnership, we reached decision-makers in a totally unexpected way, breaking from the staid mold that FinTech advertising had settled into.

Taken together, the results in Year 1 of our multi-pronged campaign speak to the remarkable power of an idea rooted in a fundamental truth. We drove significant increases across our key metrics: +7% Top of Mind Awareness +21% Consideration (and 2x against peer banks) +20% Intent Best of all, we increased the perception of J.P. Morgan Payments as an innovative brand by a whopping +19%. With our legacy expertise, fortress-level security and stability, and the deep-pocketed commitment to co-innovate with our clients, we’re uniquely positioned to help businesses thrive around the world. And now, with the outstanding results of this industry-reframing campaign, decision-makers are beginning to see J.P. Morgan Payments as the thought-leading partner they need. We’re embarking on a new legacy—our vision to transform the future of payments already has the results speaking volume—and we’re just getting started.

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