KOHO is still keeping it really real in new campaign

Who: KOHO, with Taxi for creative and strategy, Animals for production (directed by Christopher Brown), Saints for post production, Berkeley for audio, and media handled by KOHO’s in-house team.

What: “Made For Your Money,” a new brand platform and advertising campaign for the Canadian fintech brand. It’s the first work from Taxi since it won the business earlier this year.

When & Where: The campaign is live now with a 30-second anchor spot, along with 15- and six-second cutdowns, out-of-home posters and digital, and social using the hashtag #MadeForYourMoney.

Why: From launch, KOHO has positioned itself as being a sort of anti-bank, the financial services option for people (millennials in particular) exasperated by the traditional financial system. Similarly, the marketing has adopted a sort of real-talk boldness, with messaging that literally called the old system BS, and accused it of stealing dreams.

Taxi needed to keep that going with this new platform, showing how KOHO is more understanding than the banks about the real financial challenges faced by young people today.

“We wanted to talk to people the way they talk to each other,” said Frank Macera, group creative director at Taxi. “We’re not here to sell a dream or a false sense of optimism about the way the financial world is. We’re here to genuinely recognize the reality of being underpaid or having to build credit when you don’t have any, or having to pay more for groceries than ever before.”

How: The anchor spot features six millennials speaking to camera and delivering wry descriptions of their financial reality: “Moving back home to pay off my student loan… financial power move,” says one. Another could only afford a new place because it was haunted, while another now has to make money from her hobbies. “We get it,” says a voiceover. “Wherever you are with your money, KOHO is made for it.”

“The tone is about understanding and empathy, as opposed to purely trying to make people feel better about their situation,” said Macera. “We loved the idea of speaking these truths in a funny-because-it’s-true way. It reflected reality and at the same time created a tone of understanding and real optimism.”

Keeping it real: When KOHO’s CMO Alexandru Otrezov spoke with The Message about hiring Taxi  in February ,he said he wanted the agency to push even further with its messaging and stir up “deeper emotions” about what’s happening in the world today. “What we can promise is a bit of control in the world that everyone feels like we’ve lost a little bit,” he said. “And control starts with questioning the status quo of the current industry.”

“There are some powerful truths to the inequalities of people’s finances today and we wanted to find a way to show that we understand those truths,” said Macera of the new campaign. “And not in a way that says, ‘Everything is going to be okay.’ These issues are very serious for people.”

And we quote: “We wanted a campaign that reflects the financial truths of the everyday Canadian; whether it’s dealing with being underpaid, having to pay more for groceries than ever before, or trying to build credit when they don’t have any. We want them to know that we’re not here to sell them a financial dream, we’re here to help them through their reality,” —Alexandru Otrezov, CMO, KOHO.

David Brown