Most people think the marketing of financial stuff is as dull as
dishwater. Maybe that’s why the Goldfish are cleaning the waters to
allow the fish to swim freely … what am I talking about?
is a credit card that’s been available in the UK since 1996.
Originally launched by British Gas, a non-bank, and backed by HFC, it’s
been marketed heavily in the past and became the second most recognised
credit card brand in the UK by 2003.
Then it languished as credit card competition heated up and the gas
firm’s interest cooled down. This was in part because the gas industry was deregulated and British Gas
became Centrica. As a result, their interest and capabilities to
diversify into finance reverted and they sold the Goldfish portfolio to
Lloyds TSB in 2003. It was then sold again to Morgan Stanley in 2006. Morgan Stanley paid £1 billion
for it, netting Lloyds TSB a tidy £175 million, and it increased the
Morgan Stanley UK credit card business by 50% in the process. Finally, Morgan Stanley spun-off their cards division, Discover, last year and they are now the owners of Goldfish.
So, in order to make a killing in the hot UK credit card markets,
Discover have used a major chunk of their annual marketing budget to
create a campaign with Grey London to revive the card’s fortunes.
Grey London and Stink Digital
worked together to create a brilliant viral website, http://www.meandmygoldfish.com/. The website uses celebrity
endorsements from folks like Ranulph Fiennes, the explorer; Anthony
Horowitz, the author; Meera Syal, the writer and actress; Rik Mayall,
the nutter and b’stard; and others.
It looks great.
Called "Me and My Goldfish", it’s also an interesting way to rebuild a brand. The site tells you stories, delivers videos, entertains and is engaging.
well as being online, it’s also backed by an extensive advertising
campaign, with posters across most London Underground stations for
As a result, it’s winning the admiration of marketing communities, who like it’s irreverence and different look.
Equally, even with a great viral campaign, when I clicked on the "Visit goldfish.com"
link, it didn’t work as the website was down or the link was not the
right link. It’s not good to have your marketing website running and
your business website out of action, as I’m now entertained but you
lost your chance to get my business Mr. Fishy.
all the viral marketing investments in the world, the beauty of the
social internet strikes again and Discover may have just thrown some millions out with the bathwater.
Swimming with sharks might have been a better bet.