Banking ads have to be conservative, safe, and banker-ly, right? Yes and no, according to Adthena’s analysis of copy trends in the sector. Yes, there are still a lot of regulatory rules to comply with, but no you don’t have to talk like a prim financial robot. In fact, you may lose out if you do.

With a new generation of earners and savers entering the market for banks, investment opportunities, and homeownership, banking advertisers are re-thinking how they communicate with consumers. The kind of language traditionally used in ads by financial institutions is becoming less effective on a generation of customers that care more that you understand them than the blue blood of your institution. So if you’re not paying attention to ad copy, search terms, and messaging, you’re going to be left behind.

Adthena data shows that successful ad language is changing across paid search as financial institutions are looking to appeal to the Millennial demographic, and some firms are more agile than others.

A fantastic example is Chime’s friendly “spot you $200” PPC campaign, which became one of the top-performing ads in the banking category by targeting a younger audience with a refreshingly conversational tone.

And it’s not just the cool-kid Fintechs that can win with the right messaging. Stalwart Bank of America is holding its own against newer players like N26 and Revolut by promoting its Advantage SafeBalance banking product with messaging that keeps credit-minded young depositors in mind.

Understanding the language landscape

Consumers young and old have more banking choices than ever, and new fintech organizations are coming onto the scene every day. To stay relevant with your audience, you need to understand and use the language that resonates—whether it’s search terms, ad copy, or offer messaging. Just as important, you need to monitor what your competitors are doing and saying so you don’t get scooped by a rival’s messaging strategy. 

With the right competitive intelligence and creative insights, you can maintain a PPC presence that speaks directly to your banking audience and gets heard above the crowd noise. Check out how the money transfer app OFX did it, here.

Find your voice with these four Adthena tools:

  • Creative Insight shows you the words and phrases consumers are responding to the most on paid search, by category or location. This will help you tailor copy for maximum CTR and conversions. 
  • Smart Monitor will alert you to real-time competitor shifts daily. If a competitor bank rolls out a new offer and starts siphoning your clicks, you can respond immediately.
  • Share of Search can give you benchmarks and insights about the entire banking industry. Are more people searching for checking accounts than savings accounts? How often is your brand being searched in each market?
  • Whole Market View reveals what’s happening across all commercially relevant search terms for your business. Are new players entering the market? Are competitors dropping out? Which terms are performing well? WMV is your full roadmap of opportunities and threats.  

Ready to communicate to your customers more effectively?

Reach out to me at, and we’ll make sure you’re speaking the right language.