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Special Project

Special Project
From the 4th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Money Is Changing 2.0

Finalist in Financial Services

Entered in Gender Equality


The problem: After years of struggling to truly understand Millennial women or speak to them in a thoughtful, meaningful way, the entire financial category was steadily losing their attention, and their loyalty. Meanwhile, this demographic’s economic power steadily increasing, making 85% of household purchasing decisions. It became clear that Visa needed to change with the times. The brand needed to find a more effective way to communicate with women, instead of continuing to speak in presumptuous cliches: saying we had the best tools for shopping for dresses, or paying at the salon.

Our objective: In 2018, “Money is Changing” was born. After conducting research to find out what women’s real needs were, and identify the barriers in reaching her effectively, we found out that in spite of widespread cultural progress for women, the topic of money was still taboo. As a result, we designed the first phase of our work to break those taboos. We knew we’d struck a nerve - achieving an 33% increase in brand relevance among Millennial women after years of stagnation. But our work wasn’t done. We needed to continue to build and maintain relevance. With that in mind, we used the second year of the campaign to transform this burgeoning conversation into a larger cultural movement; one that moved beyond saying “we need to talk” and towards giving women the vocabulary  and know-how to gain money confidence, and wield the full impact of her growing financial power.

Strategy and Execution

From diagnosing the problem to providing tools to create behavior change:

Where our first round of research revealed that the conversation around women and money was lagging, we used our second year to dig deeper into the reasons why. Working with the research firm Trendera, we used quantitative and qualitative studies to discover that the commonly-held assumptions that women were neglecting this conversation out of ignorance or lack of knowledge were, in fact, false. Instead, she was avoiding the subject out of a deep-rooted sense of shame, and fear of judgment.

Armed with this insight, we knew we couldn’t simply provide her with another “financial wellness” course like every other financial brand. Rather, we needed to provide examples, like a pace car, to help her learn how to tackle her fears head on.


The creative idea:

We wanted to break through the clutter of “girl power” and “brandsplaining” messages by giving her the practical, actionable knowledge and resources to lead the conversation herself. “Money is Changing” became a resource that gives women the how-tos, to make their money relationship work for them.


Creating a distinctive look and feel:

The first year of our campaign sought to live in her world, and speak her language. As a result, we created an LTF that strayed far from the corporate brand guidelines that had defined Visa’s look for so long. As the campaign grew into year two, we knew that we needed to give Visa more credit for their work without losing the people-first approach that had proven so successful with the audience so far. With this in mind, we developed an eclectic, modern, and flexible LTF that still spoke to her in the visual language of content, but leveraged a stronger link to Visa’s visual brand through elements like color and photography.


Partnerships were essential to meet our audience where they already were. By forming relationships with media partners like The Cut, Bustle, Twitter, and Vulture, we were able to leverage their voices and points of view to provide perspectives and resources that we knew the brand could not.


Creating a self-optimizing campaign: 

As work rolled out, we measured each creative asset live to identify which topics were relevant, and continuously optimized the work to ensure we were having meaningful conversations with her. No assumptions were made. The real, raw data told us where to go next.


When we started this campaign, Visa’s relevance among millennial women had steadily declined, making them the second lowest scoring group in Visa’s Brand Health Tracker. Today, they are the highest. 

We’ve driven a 33% lift in relevance among millennial women according to Millward Brown/Kantar Q1-Q2 2019, and 46% lift in Visa’s innovation score in spite of rarely mentioning Visa’s products or technology based on. Proof that in today’s culture, an innovative brand isn’t necessarily the one with the most shiny new toys: it’s the one leading a more progressive conversation. 


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Decoded Advertising, Visa


Entry Credits