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Challenger banks continue to turn to big name celebrities, but micro influencers might work better

  • More challenger banks turn to celebrity partnerships and influencer marketing.
  • Experts say banks and financial institutions might be better off partnering with micro-influencers with strong engagement.
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Challenger banks continue to turn to big name celebrities, but micro influencers might work better

Things that N26, Current and Greenwood Bank all have in common: a celebrity face to lead their brands.

More challenger banks have joined mainstream financial institutions by seeking celebrity partnerships. Revolut is the latest digital bank to attach itself to a big-name celebrity. Industry experts say that banks have additional considerations when partnering with influencers and celebrities. They also say that while these partnerships can be successful for financial institutions, it’s not all about big names.

Challenger banks are not singular among financial institutions for pursuing celebrity partnerships. In 2013, when Sovereign Bank changed its name to Santander Bank in the US, it did so with a 60-second spot featuring Robert De Niro critiquing his own performance while watching an unnamed movie in a movie theater. That same year, Samuel L. Jackson starred in Capital One’s commercial for its Quicksilver Cash Rewards card. More recently, investment giant State Street Global Advisors recruited Hunger Games actress Elizabeth Banks to promote its US mid-cap exchange traded fund.

Revolut is the most recent challenger bank to go the celebrity partnership route by collaborating with 2x heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua to raise funding for independent gyms across the United Kingdom. In early April, the bank launched a new glow-in-the-dark debit card that’s available to all of Revolut’s 15 million customers worldwide.


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