Branding Challenge

Most of Provident Financial’s previous communications focused on the moments in which clients were in dire need of same-day loans.  TV spots focused on sad moments like cars breaking down, unforeseen bills, and calamitous events that left the brand with negative emotions and associations.  The entire fast loan industry was already suffering from a poor image, with market research showing that many consumers saw them as predatory, and Provident’s spots were not helping to combat this.

Reposition the Brand as Helpers

We created a campaign that featured actual stories of Provident customers that were helped by the same-day loan services that they offered.  Instead of focusing on the moment of a car accident, we featured the moment when the money arrived to pay for the repairs.  Instead of featuring a person worriedly opening medical bills, we showed a customer enjoying his time with his family.  The idea was to focus on the happiness that the brand was able to offer its customers, instead of focusing on their customers dark hours of need.

The Results of the Television Spots

The initial spot tested very positively, and was run heavily.  Provident chose to create more spots, and we created an entire series of commercials featuring customer testimonials that was run for over a year.  The entire campaign spurred copycats, with competitors realizing the effectiveness of the approach, though Provident had already positioned itself as the bank offering same-day loans that helped people.