Aqua was looking to revitalise its TV offering and gain greater traction in an increasingly competitive landscape. It’s a tall ask to gain cut-through with a proposition that helps you stand above the rest. With growing ambitions for this channel and an expanding media reach, the incumbent creative was no longer able to meet these demands. There was a call for a striking new advert that could work incredibly hard to hit ambitious new targets whilst breaking the mould of the ‘wallpaper’ ad and beating out the competition.

what we did

Following interrogation of the market, it was clear that Aqua sat amongst a pool of smaller financial companies that offer to a very specific group of customers, in this case to those who struggle to get access to credit. These companies tend to have lower brand recognition, so use direct marketing to advertise specific products, mainly on TV. This meant it was important to understand the audience and the competitors, as they can’t rely on a brand to drive business and must use advertising more effectively.

With little brand differentiation across TV, our mission was to isolate an actionable insight and a compelling proposition that struck the sweet spot between the rational, feature-led approach and one that establishes customer empathy.

Our concepts began with the insight that sometimes it can be really hard to get a credit card, no matter how sensible you are with money. In answer to this, our proposition for the ad is “Credit where it is due”, suggesting that we treat people rather more fairly than some other competitors.

Research helped us pinpoint the most powerful approach – a simple animation of a fishing hook trying to catch credit cards, in a computer game/mobile app style. This was then developed, collaborating with a specialist CGI studio.


We achieved positive performance, as during the first four months of the ad airing, our planned response rate increased by 17%. 


more work

  • Provident Financial

    acquisition and customer direct mail

    read more