OANDA is a major financial services provider working in the foreign exchange sector, with highly successful operations in North America, Asia and the Middle East. The Company was the first online provider of comprehensive currency exchange information, and now sets benchmarks for corporations, tax authorities, auditing firms, and central banks around the world. It launched the first fully automated online forex trading platform, fxTrade, in 2001, and handles a trading volume far exceeding that typically handled through any of the leading global banks or electronic communication networks that trade forex.
With almost 40% of the world’s currency trading passing though London, OANDA decided to open an office in the UK capital in 2011. Through a competitive tendering process involving some of the country’s top financial services specialists, the bcsAgency was chosen to ensure OANDA got the right exposure to such a critical market.
OANDA wanted to hit the ground running with high quality and volume coverage for its latest international subsidiary, OANDA Europe. Despite the Company’s established profile outside the region, the OANDA Europe launch was complicated by the fact that it did not yet hold an FSA licence, and could therefore not announce its presence in the UK.
The challenge was therefore to engage and generate interest amongst the target audience and media to gain instant traction in the market, without revealing the Company’s name.
The bcsAgency response to a seemingly impossible brief was to pull off a hat-trick of innovative installations during a six-week campaign, involving street art, public/private animation screenings and a dancing robot.
A striking and relevant visualisation of OANDA needed to be created that could be used in multiple campaign components, and so OANDAtron FX was created. The hero robot encapsulated OANDA’s key values of advanced technology, fairness and quirkiness and gave an instantly identifiable character that linked all aspects of the campaign.
Six weeks before OANDA expected its FSA license to come through, the OANDAtron FX character started to appear on the pavements and walls in and around London’s financial districts of the Square Mile and Canary Wharf. Then, as the temporary clean graffiti images were fading, bcsAgency screened a short animation showing OANDAtron FX fighting the less scrupulous financial ‘sharks’ in the name of forex fairness on the huge television screen at Canary Wharf. Finally, bcsAgency revealed the identity of OANDAtron FX through a public appearance in the heart of the City. A bespoke costume was designed and produced to bring the character to life, dance with a flash mob and distribute OANDA literature in the form of books, USBs and Frisbees.
The three components exposed thousands of OANDA’s target audiences to the Company’s brand and values, with many taking home reminders of where to go for future forex trading. The creative nature of activity meant that events were memorable and created instant association once the identity of the Company behind them was revealed, and a private screening of the animation on an exclusive terrace in Canary Wharf had over 100 invited VIP guests, including key OANDA stakeholders, existing and potential customers, members of the media and analysts.
With the ultimate reveal event concluded, media and analyst briefings began in earnest. The UK’s top two FX titles demanded briefings with the OANDA Europe MD the following day, and most, if not all, of the campaign’s top tier press have now had direct contact with the company.
Sector: Financial Services