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Inspiring action in people leaders
A financial powerhouse
With over 20,000 employees and 14 million active customers, Santander is one of the UK’s leading personal financial services brands.
During 2017 the business undertook a large internal culture shift; how employees behaved was now as equally important as their performance.
Read on to discover how we teamed up with the experts at DSW to create engaging, relatable and memorable content during this vital period.
a unique way to

promote change.

This was a huge undertaking, so Santander harnessed various methods to help communicate the changes to its teams.
It also wanted to prompt change, invoke self-refection, help capture the imagination of every people manager and provide extra value for attendees of face-to-face training.
However, these people managers were certainly no strangers to training, so the materials needed to stand out from anything they’d seen before.
Sparking conversation
Our idea was to demonstrate the difference in personal behaviours on a good or bad day.
This involved presenting scenarios for analysis by the viewer, inviting them to share their opinion in group discussions, and following it up with a debrief on best practice.
One of the most effective ways of demonstrating best practice is via video;  however, the treatment needed to exist outside the ‘world’ of Santander (and banking in general) to ensure the scenes couldn’t be taken too literally.
We needed to think laterally.
Shifting setting
We needed an organisational structure that was similar to a bank to make it more relatable, whilst specifically avoiding ‘banking’ and ‘sales’ offices.
The answer soon dawned on us, and it was somewhere we were more than accustomed to – the automotive industry!
With a management, employee and customer hierarchy that would really resonate with the target audience, ‘Anytown Autos’ was born.
Inspired by everyday life
Our in-house video, design and animation teams worked side-by-side to map out highly stylised, dynamic content during scripting.
We aimed to hook the viewer within the first few seconds, taking them slightly outside of their comfort zone for a moment, before harnessing a variety of proven techniques to retain their attention throughout.
Whilst we were looking to push the bar with our ideas, our innovation wasn’t without purpose – we needed to create enough of a stir to engage, but not too much to distract.
Each video was driven by a narrator, with dialogue between actors where it added to the story.
This freed us to break the fourth wall by asking rhetorical questions and directly challenging common held opinions, as opposed to simply commenting on the action.
Building the narrative
Working directly alongside the teams at DSW and Santander, we delivered a fantastic multi-day film and photography shoot.
With a full suite of crew and actors, our locations provided a range of environments where we could simulate day-to-day interactions, from handling customers through to ‘water cooler’ team chats.
From our footage we then edited together a series of nine videos covering various common scenarios. Each storyline was interconnected to create a more cohesive narrative for the viewer.

“Animation helped to retain attention and introduce some light relief to an otherwise serious topic. We used Santander’s colour palate, plus original photography, to expand the environment, whilst a clever use of voiceover helped compress timelines and keep running times low.”

Adam Johnson, Head of Production, mobedia

A long-term success
Originally commissioned to run for three months and train 300 people, to date the campaign has run for 18 months and has reached over 2,000.
We are currently working alongside both Santander and DSW to plan out future exciting initiatives together.

Are you keen to increase team engagement and retention?

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