Up’s bold play with TikTok

  • By Eeshaa Batra

Financial institutions have been increasingly trying to gear their products and marketing towards millennials, but Up’s partnership with TikTok could signal a true revolution, writes RFi Group’s Eeshaa Batra. 

Up’s new TikTok challenge closed this week; a gamified effect which lets users race to ‘munch’ as many coins as they can as part of the Up Easy Money Challenge – with prizes ranging from bragging rights to $1000 cash. 

The campaign encourages not only viewing and sharing of Up-affiliated content, but also users generating content to further drive engagement. This, on a platform which has already proved valuable to Up in terms of connecting with current and prospective customers, according to Up’s head of product, Anson Parker.

The partnership – the first of its kind – is expected to amplify Up’s commitment to transforming how customers interact with their money by showing off the brand’s ‘fun’ side, thereby helping to more deeply engage the millennial segment.

The strategy isn’t unprecedented, with Klarna’s recently launching a rewards program where consumers earn ‘vibes,’ and Commonwealth Bank using dad jokes in Spotify ads to highlight the features of their mobile banking app. 

However, in the words of TikTok’s general manager of global business solutions ANZ, Brett Armstrong, “To see Up jumping at the chance to have a bit of fun with their customers is really surprising and unique for this category.”

Financial institutions have certainly been retargeting their branding and messaging efforts towards the youth segment, but Up’s bold play could signal that the time has come for banks to truly engage with the possibilities of new platforms and channels.

That being said, trying to speak to millennials in their own language can be a very different proposition than actually doing so – it’ll be interesting to see the results of the upcoming RFi survey around attitudes to banking among youth customers and millennials. 

Watch this space!

Eeshaa Batra is an analyst at RFi Group