Why you should Believe in the Bee - the making of our TV ad

Jasper Martens

by , Chief Marketing Officer

at PensionBee

22 Sept 2022 /  

woman sat at cafe surrounded by filming equipment.

Have you seen our ‘Believe in the Bee’ campaign yet? Our multi-channel brand campaign will run for the next six to eight months across the UK. So why did we decide to invest in such a big campaign, and how did it all come about? Let me give you some behind-the-scenes knowledge on how we came to agree on an expensive bee animation, and why it was a no-brainer to involve a Premier League football club as part of the script.

Investing in your brand make sense

At any time in a company’s growth cycle, especially for a fintech company like PensionBee, there’ll be a time where simply growing through digital channels isn’t enough. Digital marketing channels are typically designed to convert customers who are actively looking or searching for your product. When your brand awareness is low and you’ve not built up brand equity, you’ll find yourself exhausting those conversion channels quickly and you’ll experience diminished returns on your marketing investments.

Investing in your brand will help to make more people brand aware, which in turn will widen your marketing funnel. As a result, more people will become aware of your brand, meaning that more people will consider using your business or service down the line. This will help to bring down your acquisition costs on those conversion channels.

When to start with your brand campaign?

The timing of that decision is precarious. Going too early means your brand investment won’t result in a more efficient customer acquisition. Starting too late means you’ve wasted a lot of money on expensive customer acquisition and you’ll have lost customers you simply weren’t able to retain.

At PensionBee we started with a small investment, a daytime TV campaign in January 2019, measuring the impact of each spot and looking at the impact on our channel mix the following months. We measured uplifts across the board and the costs to acquire a customer through performance channels started to drop. This was what we were looking for! Since then we’ve steadily increased investments in our brand channels with a mix of TV, OOH and Radio.

Moving on from your Minimum Loveable Ad (MLA)

Our first brand campaign was small and the creative we used came with a small price tag too. Although the team at our creative partner Builders Arms managed to produce a great TV creative, it was all done on a shoestring budget.

But that was OK, we dared to test TV as a channel by using a viable creative whilst resisting splashing the cash. We called it our “Minimum Lovable Ad”. As we were starting to see huge benefits of this brand investment, our next campaigns became larger and were spread out over a longer period. It was from here that our ‘Pension Confident’ tagline was born. Starting with our floating customers on nationwide billboards, and then moving to our Feels So Good wave in 2021 and our Yellow Chair customer campaign in January 2022. With every campaign we executed, the size, budget and results increased.

Filming crew

Coffee shop The first location the bee flies to is a coffee shop near Richmond Bridge.

Little girl smiling

Children and parents The bee passes the house of a young family in Twickenham.

The bee is born

Compare The Market has got their meerkat, and PensionBee now has its bee. But how did that all come about?

PensionBee bee The PensionBee bee.

Consistent use of distinctive brand assets increases the likelihood of your creative being noticed and helps you be instantly recognisable. It’s one of the best ways to build brand awareness. This ranges from the font you use, the message you communicate and also includes other elements such as using the same voice-over and grading of your assets.

Our new Believe in the Bee campaign combines all of those distinctive brand assets into one campaign. We continue to be clear about what we do: bringing multiple pension pots together in a simple online plan. We continue to use the same ‘Be Pension Confident’ tagline, and we continue to use the same voice-over artist.

Our Believe in the Bee campaign combines all of our usual distinctive brand assets, but it was time to bring out the big guns: a bee. Yes, a real-looking, animated honey bee. Our bee was carefully created pixel by pixel by a Swedish animation studio. It took months to build so we’re proud to finally release it onto your TV screens.

Couple buying car Our bee also makes a visit to a car dealership in North London where we demonstrate you can spend your pension anytime you choose.

Brentford footballers

Brentford fans Janelt (pictured), Wissa and Norgaard from Brentford FC in shot while our bee makes a visit to the stadium.

Why a bee? Beyond the bee brand reference, honey bees are perceived as hard-working, loving creatures that bring warmth too. Bees collect honey and bring it to the hive. Much like the way we collect money from your old pension pots and bring them together into your PensionBee plan, or as we call it, your BeeHive. And because everyone these days has old pensions to consolidate, the bee flies to customers from all walks of life. For the bee, all customers are equal.

The positivity the bee brings is so important to the message we want to get across: we make pensions simple so you can look forward to a happy retirement. Pensions should be something positive to contribute into, not some abandoned and forgotten paper-based product that lies hidden somewhere in your admin drawer.

And to top it all off, through our partnership with the Brentford Bees, we used brand equity from another brand to strengthen PensionBee as our bee was able to fly into their stadium during match day. Many people will be familiar with Brentford FC as an emerging Premier League football club. And of course, it was a great day out for our PensionBee colleagues who are all cheering in the audience. Did you spot our Founder and CEO Romi Savova sipping on her coffee at the beginning of the ad too?

From storyboarding, it’s taken our team (with the help of many talented professionals), six months to bring this campaign to life. Many thanks goes out to them and I’m immensely proud that we were able to gather so many skilled people around one common goal: making pensions simple so we can look forward to a happy retirement.

Our Believe in the Bee ad premiered during the Great British Bake Off on 20 September, but you can also view it on our YouTube channel.

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