'Always have a plan B, C and D in COVID times' – Behind the Campaign, 'A shave too close' for Lloyds Bank

Joey Ng, director at Grayling, gives the lowdown on the agency's work to raise awareness of banking fraud.

What was the campaign, in a nutshell?

Fraud has became more virulent this year, with COVID-19 providing fertile ground for scammers preying on people’s financial worries. As part of Lloyds Bank’s ongoing commitment to fighting fraud, we devised ‘A shave too close’, which saw us take over a barbershop to run a fraud awareness social experiment.

How did the idea come into being?

We examined fraud from different perspectives to see what would resonate with consumers. The idea came from the behavioural bias people have in overestimating their abilities. This was evident in the research, which found that people – more so men – feel confident they can spot fraud, despite one in 10 not knowing the most common scams.

We worked closely with fraud experts at Lloyds Bank throughout to ensure that we were not only conducting a social experiment to raise awareness of scams, but also educating people about common types of fraud and the importance of talking with friends and family about the risks.

We partnered with barbershop Johnny’s Chop Shop, which saw the barbers test how aware customers are of fraud risks.

With social profiles of unsuspecting customers set to 'public', we were able to find out personal information with just a few clicks, and the barbers started to drop these into conversations. While the penny eventually dropped for some, the genuine reactions captured on the day said it all, achieving our goal of getting people to think again about fraud.

What ideas were rejected?

The biggest challenge proved to be the location, due to changing lockdown restrictions. Initially, the campaign involved a pop-up in November for people to experience the barbershop first-hand, get a free haircut and helpful advice on how to protect themselves. To ensure that we were COVID-19-compliant, we decided to keep this as a controlled social experiment.

Briefly describe the campaign planning and process

The clients loved the barbershop activation as something different to previous fraud campaigns.

Johnny’s Chop Shop was central in bringing the experiment to life. We also conducted research, which found that Brits were unaware of how much personal information they were sharing.

To amplify the campaign further, we partnered LADbible to create interactive social content, and two top male influencers to drive conversations about fraud and boost engagement among our target audience.

From insight to activation, it took about two months.

What were the biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?

There were a lot of moving parts and we didn’t know what restrictions would be in place during production. We made contingency plans to ensure compliance. The safety of our team and staff on site was most important.

How did you measure the results and what were they?

The ultimate goal of this campaign was to encourage people to take steps to protect themselves from fraud.

In addition to coverage and social-media results, we conducted a post-campaign analysis to evaluate the impact. It was incredible to see that one in four Brits saw our campaign. Of these, 75 per cent said that they will think twice about what they post on social media, while a quarter changed their profiles to 'private'.

This is a real behaviour change that the campaign encouraged. I’m incredibly proud of the team who turned this around so quickly and the partnership we have with the client for making this idea a reality.

What's the biggest lesson you took away from the campaign?

Always have a plan B, C and D during COVID times. It’s not often that you get such a short time frame to launch a campaign with so many moving components and unknowns in the wider environment. We needed to be agile throughout – and we couldn’t have done it without the flexibility of all the stakeholders and partners involved.


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