Category A05. Consumer Services / Business to Business
Entrant PS21 Madrid, SPAIN
Idea Creation PS21 Madrid, SPAIN
Media Placement MINDSHARE Madrid, SPAIN
Name Company Position
Víctor Blanco PS21 Executive Creative Director
Sergio García PS21 Strategy Director
Stefano Piccini PS21 Account Director
Inmaculada Muñoz PS21 account supervisor
Aida Zurdo PS21 account excutive
Eloisa Cengotitabengoa PS21 account excutive
Patricia Medeiros PS21 Head of art
José Arroyo PS21 creative
Inés Figueras PS21 creative
Pablo Vilar PS21 creative
Alejandro Maruenda PS21 creative
Rubén Sánchez PS21 creative director

Why is this work relevant for Media?

Banking communication is not easy. It’s full of limitations, common places and functional messages. And to sell something as commoditized as credit cards is not easy either. So getting the actual CMO of BBVA to let us use his own credit card and make it the main media of the campaign, for everyone to see in Madrid’s Gran Vía, one of the busiest and a pickpocket’s favorite street in Spain seemed unlikely. But it was the best way to demo the product, and in the end, if we were serious about having a 100% secure card, we needed to.


During 2020 Spain become the third country in eCommerce purchases growth (+36% in 12 months). But this also attracted a non desired side effect: cybercrime increased by 35,8% in the same timeframe. In this scenario, BBVA decided to launch a new card: Aqua, the most secure card they ever created, with no print numbers on the plastic card, connected to an app, and with a dynamic security code that changes every 5 minutes, only visible in your app to protect all your physical and online purchases. The challenge was to position the card as the safest on the market, and recruit new clients to the bank. The objective was to sign 190.000 new card contracts. In terms of brand objectives it was key to create buzz around the new product, increasing top of mind and consideration.

Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)

We conducted a study based on interviews with 1,000 customers in Spain on the use of credit and debit cards and digital banking. The research identified a core target "pure digitals and sophisticated" which were the most likely to be attracted by a product like this. But we found out that despite security being amongst the main concerns they had with credit cards, it wasn't a reason powerful enough to recruit new customers. People feel that they have already too much cards, they have very little differentiation, and they are constantly offered new cards for free, so it's not a product worth paying for. And given the low trust people have in banks, just saying the card was secure, wasn't enough for them to believe either. Insight: If we were sure it was secure, we should be willing to put it at risk, putting our money were our mouth was.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

In order to recruit with this new product, we faced several problems. First, we are talking about a bank card. A functional product with a very rational explanation.We needed to make an exciting credit card, get people talking about a commoditized product and turn security into a strength rather than a concern. But we also faced an even bigger problem: The perception that Spaniards have of banks is very negative since the 2008 crisis, so connecting with them through advertising is much more complicated than with other companies. We had to communicate the security of the new card in the opposite way that a bank does, humanizing it, and connecting in a completely honest and transparent way. So we decided to take the card to the streets literally, identifying with our OOH audience planning tools one of the best spots to reach the identified target.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

To connect with people and prove how secure this new card is, we did something never done before in the banking world: Place the actual BBVA CMO's card inside a bus shelter in plain sight on Madrid's Gran Vía, the busiest street in Spain (30,000 people walk it daily) and the third busiest in Europe. Crazy, unless it is the most secure card on the market. We designed a window stand shaped like the card and backlit it, focusing the attention on it, as if it were a jewel. This way it stood out both day and night. In addition to a clear and concise headline, we included a letter written and signed by the bank's CMO. The card was exposed for 2 weeks, as part of a bigger traditional OOH circuit, demonstrating what the campaign said. A totally different action as far as banking communication is concerned.

List the results (30% of vote)

The campaign was covered by all major outlets in the country (press, radio and television), achieving more than 30 impacts and a PR Value of more than 200,000 euros. It also increased online searches for the BBVA brand by more than 20%, and consideration for the bank grew by 2.5 points. During October, our top of mind rose by +20pp vs competitors, and we also lead advertising recall with +8pp vs competitors. We also lead in key attributes like trustable(+7pp), transparent(+6pp), surprising(+7pp) and digital(+5pp). Just in the first month of the campaign, 195,827 cards were issued. At a daily average of 4,166 cards per day, Aqua immediately became BBVA's star product and their best selling card. As of February 1, the number of cards issued had already reached more than 400,000 and counting.