Shift not Silence: How the Financial Industry Should Approach Advertising Now

Adrenaline’s Juliet D’Ambrosio, Senior Director of Strategy and Kristin Ronca, Group Account Director, spotlighted in The Financial Brand’s guidance on advertising priorities in the wake of Coronavirus

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 – With budgets in decline across every industry and unknown market performance in our future, our “rational” brains may be telling us to do some things at this moment that might not be in our best interest for the short, mid or long term. That includes financial institutions and advertising budgets. To be sure, a fight or flight response is not usually advised for individuals – think panic selling stocks that forever cement your losses – it’s also not advisable for institutions, either. Going dark at this pivotal moment cements your decision to disengage in dialogue with your audiences. 

In the Financial Brand’s “Why Financial Institutions Should Keep Advertising, But Differently” industry experts discuss the advertising landscape and provide needed insights into a nuanced approach that will ensure institutions are in a prime position now and in the future. In the article, Juliet D’Ambrosio, Senior Director of Strategy at Adrenaline, describes the agency’s Shift Not Silence approach, saying, “That means banks and credit unions shouldn’t pull back on marketing communication entirely, but instead shift toward a new allocation of resources reflective of this moment.”  

On decision-making for platforms, Kristin Ronca, Group Account Director at Adrenaline, has a very real take on this moment. She says, “Channels now are direct-to-couch” pointing out that at home platforms like streaming and digital content are all having their moment while people shelter-at-home, stating, “All of these channels have seen increased ratings.” Juliet D’Ambrosio reminds us to remember generational media consumption as the industry pivots priorities. She says, “TV viewership among Boomers is way up. For Millennials and Gen X, streaming and digital video along with social media are on the rise.”

While addressing channels is key, the thornier question is what to say and how to say it. Juliet D’Ambrosio recommends staying human. She says, “The place to start with messaging is through the lens of empathy. An empathy-led approach means looking at this pandemic through the lens of your audiences and their needs.” On tone, focus on two key questions: “What do your audiences believe most about you? What do they need to hear from you now?”

This is not a time for chest-beating, celebrating your brand or making strong competitive advantage claims.”
– Senior Director of Strategy, Juliet D’Ambrosio on the right tone

In an upcoming article, we will assess brand communication during Coronavirus through the lens of empathy-led branding. For more actionable insights to help guide your marketing decisions, see the full article in the Financial Brand, the platform of record in the financial industry. The Financial Brand is a digital publication covering marketing and strategy in the financial services sector. A resource for financial services executives across the globe, the outlet focuses on issues vital to retail banks and credit unions. To speak with one of our brand communication experts, contact us at

Adrenaline is an experience design agency that creates and implements end-to-end branded experiences through creative and environmental design. We enhance our clients’ customer experiences across digital and physical channels, from their branding and advertising to design and technology in their spaces. After transforming an organization’s brand, Adrenaline extends it across all touchpoints — from employees to the market to in-store environments. And, we focus on serving industries that sell human experiences including financial, healthcare, sports, and entertainment. 

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