Olivia Mullaney

“Human nature hasn’t changed for a billion years. It won’t even vary in the next billion years. Only the superficial things have changed” Bill Bernbach.

In January, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Barclays Marketing Excellence Summit and Awards, where the best creative work from all the Marketing teams within Barclays is celebrated and shared. It was an inspirational day, comprised of talks and presentations from external speakers. As a marketing graduate , it was a wonderful opportunity to gain exposure to all the creative work across Barclays, and a chance to meet new people outside my team.

It was a great chance to discuss the wider trends in the Marketing industry outside of financial services, such as the importance of digital and social media and the increasing use of mobile platforms, with increasing internet usage on mobile devices. For example, the most watched ad in the world (the Dove sketches ad) was never shown on television, but has over 61 million views on YouTube.

However, despite increasing social media usage, an important message that I took away was that the underlying motivation behind marketing and advertising has not changed. As the Bill Bernbach (one of the founders of the advertising agency DDB) quote highlights, human nature has remained pretty consistent. The ‘unchanging man’ is always in fashion, so it’s not always about having to pre-empt the next big trend. It is the environment in which we market that has changed, rather than the underlying motives on which marketing is based.

This is why Barclays can distinguish itself as a purpose-driven brand, especially amid the financial sector. By harnessing the power of storytelling and linking the range of services Barclays offers to the ambitions and goals of our customers, we can really make a difference. For example, a loan is not just a sum of money, but the opportunity to go to university, or a couple’s first house. 

This is why I love my job and the opportunity it brings to help drive positive change in society. It is an exciting time to be working in the financial sector, as even though banking is emerging from a difficult period, purpose-driven marketing can demonstrate how Barclays really are helping people achieve their ambitions in the right way. At every stage of life Barclays can help their clients and customers reach their goals, as when it comes down to it, people haven’t changed.