Grand Prix
Category B05. Corporate Purpose & Social Responsibility
Entrant N=5 Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Idea Creation N=5 Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Media Placement 2 MEDIACOM Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Additional Company ABN AMRO BANK Amsterdam, THE NETHERLANDS
Name Company Position
Leon Ragetlie N=5 Copywriter
Gabriela Nouws N=5 Art Director
Thijs Bontje N=5 Creative Director
Daniel te Lindert N=5 Creative Director
Blue ter Burg Tebber Nekkel Screenwriter & Director
Quintin Baker Tebber Nekkel Screenwriter & Producer
Esther Overmars N=5 Strategy Director
Silvia van Hooft N=5 Strategist
Judith Lavalette N=5 Head of Account
Merel Hoogendorp N=5 Client Service Director
Maaike Langereis N=5 Account Manager
Anna Bosscher N=5 Agency Producer
Hans Dekker N=5 Digital Producer
Marcel Hellemons N=5 Digital Director
Noortje Hulshof N=5 Designer
Sander Kruit N=5 Motion designer
Robine Schmetz N=5 Motion designer
Ralph Bannink N=5 Graphic Designer
Ron Gessel N=5 Photographer

Why is this work relevant for Creative Strategy?

Every year, over 16 billion euros of criminal money is laundered in the Netherlands. ABN AMRO employs 2,000 people in anti money-laundering and is recruiting hundreds more. How do we convince this critical target group that the bank could possibly be the ‘good guy’? And to even work there themselves? A Netflix-style short thriller brings the brutal reality behind money laundering to life. It makes the situation tangible and convinces them the bank is the ‘good guy’. Moreover, the film contains scenario errors so viewers can test whether they are sharp enough.


Situation Every year, 16 billion euros of criminal money is laundered in the Netherlands. Money from drug trading, human trafficking and terrorism flows into the legitimate economy via banks like ABN AMRO. Only 1% of this criminal money is seized. Several money laundering scandals were uncovered at banks recently. Rival ING was forced to pay a record 775 million euro fine in 2018 Since then, banks have to improve their screening of customers and transactions. To radically improve their gatekeeper function. At ABN AMRO too. Brief - Create awareness around financial crime. - Communicate ABN AMRO’s actions. - Convince millennials (aged 21-35) to apply as financial crime analyst. Objectives - Business: 1,200 applications in 3 months (campaign is 6 weeks). - Significant improvement in consideration of ABN AMRO as employer and employer’s reputation among the target group. - 40,000 visits to campaign page - 10% click ratio to vacancies.

Interpretation (30% of vote)

2018 and 2019 saw the uncovering of major money laundering cases in the Netherlands, like the Troika Laundromat. Banks had been negligent in tracing unusual transactions. The trust - that had recovered somewhat since the crisis - is damaged again. After the mega fine for ING, the public prosecutor focuses on ABN AMRO in 2019. The day this news is made public, the bank loses 1.6 billion in market capitalisation. Getting, and keeping, money laundering checks right is of vital importance. Not just for the bank, but for the whole of society. There is a paradox in the ‘bad guys’ of the financial crisis hunting for criminals. Our target group (aged 21-35) are critical millennials who don’t believe this without proof, let alone that they themselves would want to contribute. To recruit 1,200 job applicants, a radically different campaign approach is needed from what the bank is used to.

Insight / Breakthrough Thinking (30% of vote)

We start with desk research to understand financial crime. The category insight: the ambition of a bank to boost money laundering detection does not feel authentic because it was imposed by the government. In-depth interviews and desk research showed millennials no longer see working at a bank as something to be proud of: ‘anything better than working at a bank’. Above all, work has to be meaningful. Conclusion -To be credible, we need a promise and a story (1) rooted in our purpose and brand mentality and (2) which communicates what money laundering detection actually means. -It’s crucial to bring the impact of money laundering to life. A traditional campaign would not get the job done. This generation takes ((online) media consumption and engagement to an all-time high and is very critical towards advertising. We needed an engaging form of campaigning, where initially, the bank was not revealed as sender.

Creative Idea (20% of vote)

We launch a Netflix-style short thriller entitled ‘The Dark Side of Money’ showing the brutal reality of money laundering. The film deliberately contains ‘plot holes’: details which are incorrect. So viewers can test whether they are sharp enough for this work. This layered solution cleverly serves two purposes: 1. Make gravity of financial crime tangible and say what ABN AMRO does against it; 2. Activation mechanism: testing whether viewers are sharp enough for the job and offering them a thrilling experience. We launch online, in 100 Dutch cinemas and at media partner Vice, and promote the film online with short unbranded trailers, initially staying clear from anything that feels too much like advertising. We use short video and social ads and influencers to challenge people who watched the film to spot the mistakes: ABN AMRO is now clearly shown as the sender.

Outcome / Results (20% of vote)

Business impact: Two days after launch, we had already received 400 applications! Six weeks later the score is at 1,200 and rising. Latest score in September: almost 1,600. Brand impact: The campaign has managed to really impact this critical target group and has influenced brand perception. Exposure to the campaign provides an uplift on: - consideration (+30%) and preference (9%) for ABN AMRO as employer; - reputation of ABN AMRO as an employer (average +23%); - general brand reputation (average +23%). Traffic: - 95,000 visits to campaign pages (target 40k). - click ratio to vacancies: 40% (target 10%) Likeability: For a bank, it’s ambitious to score a ‘pass’, due to critical sentiment. Especially among young people! The average score for the videos (7.1) is much higher than the benchmark (6.1). Impressions: 37,197,000 12,975,000 video views 5,989,000 completed views PR: 1.5 million earned media

Please tell us how the brand purpose inspired the work

ABN AMRO has a bold purpose: Banking for better, for generations to come. As a bank we have a major impact on the economy and society; by making the right choices, we want to accelerate the transition to a better society. Our pay-off catches that mentality very clearly: ‘A world to gain.’ A promise which is about opportunities for progress. And if anywhere needs progress it’s in Detecting Financial Crime. No other bank has run a major campaign about Detecting Financial Crime. That is why we had the chance and the responsibility to not only recruit 1,200 job applicants, but also to really bring to life the social importance of this issue. We therefore show that helping to uncover dirty money is a way to build a better future together. Because a positive future is only possible with the honest use of our financial system.