What the brand needed

The Standard Bank Group faced a difficult challenge: launch its brand repositioning to the market when the world was dealing with the devastating impact of COVID-19. This required a robust, tactful communications approach that considered both the opportunities and risks posed by the circumstances.

Our message could make for a refreshing note of hope in a dark time by demonstrating its relevance, rather than just stating it.

We introduced ‘It Can Be’ – a promise of hope, optimism and belief in Africa’s future – through an integrated communications plan.

Insights and execution

We brought the campaign to life by working closely with the Standard Bank business and partner agencies to tell stories about real people doing incredible things:

  • People like Lucky Netshidzati – the brains behind a smart glove sensor that turns sign language into voice and text.
  • We profiled the women behind ‘It Can Be’ and the challenges they face as women living and working in South Africa.
  • We created a community of influencers who believed in Standard Bank and the potential of the new brand promise. They helped to drive our ‘Dream of the Week’ competition, where we rewarded South Africans with R10,000 every week for 10 weeks just for dreaming big.
  • Finally, we launched an engagement-focused series with former Miss World Rolene Strauss, where she facilitated live Instagram conversations with local change makers who related their ‘It Can Be’ stories of hope.

The results

At a time when the world was facing a bleak outlook, Standard Bank drove a story of optimism, increased talkability around the brand, and inextricably linked ‘It Can Be’ to Standard Bank in the hearts and minds of South Africans.

  • Positive reception of the ‘It Can Be’ message
  • 36 pieces of coverage
  • 18 radio interviews
  • Over 2 million impressions on Twitter and Instagram over 8 months

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