Channel 4

Save Well, Spend Better with Lloyds Bank

Research shows money is an even more sensitive subject for UK families and relationships than politics, religion or sex. And one in three people have reported money-related stress and anxiety with their nearest and dearest within the past year. In the face of this environment, Lloyds Bank developed a purpose-led campaign, the ‘M Word’, to demonstrate to customers the brand promise of being ‘by the side of every generation’, and communicate the benefits of talking openly and honestly about money worries. Channel 4 was challenged to elevate the M Word campaign and bring it to life in popular culture, take it to the next level and galvanize the nation to start having the difficult conversations about money.

The Big Idea

Channel 4 exists to challenge behaviours and drive positive social change, and is the best place to drive Lloyds purpose.  Using the M Word insight, we identified the need to clearly demonstrate that talking openly about money can help tackle ingrained taboos and relationship difficulties that exist around the topic. 

To do this we worked with Channel 4 commissioning and an external producer (Firecracker) to develop a 5-part advertiser funded primetime TV show, showing real people having difficult money conversations whilst independent advisers gave potential strategies to help solve them.

Making it Happen

The purpose was to demonstrate that having open and honest conversations about money can benefit individuals and their relationships, alleviate stress and help find practical solutions.  We cast real people, covering a broad range of real financial problems, and told viewers their often-difficult stories. We showed honest moneys stories of secrets and worries with partners, business partners, close friends, - and aided our participants with a team of specialist counselling and financial experts offering practical advice.

Beyond the main show, we actively encouraged viewers to have their own money conversations across our platforms. VoD viewers of the show were asked to ‘pause to talk’ via a bespoke piece of copy, whilst on social we used powerful emotional moments from the show to amplify the content.

A free live call and online support centre manned by experienced Relate counsellors was promoted through contextual Lloyds Bank M Word spots that featured Anna Williams (main host of show) encouraging viewers (who wanted help) to talk to a counsellor before approaching family on the subject matter.

The Results

Described by the Times as “arguably the most prominent example ever of advertiser funded programming”, the show brought a peak audience of 1.2 million viewers (one of C4’s best performing Mon Night 8pm shows in 2 years)  and helped change people’s attitudes on talking about money.


Viewers were 90% more likely to have talked about money or finance with a family member or friend

49% of viewers felt that SWSB showed that Lloyds Bank are encouraging people to talk about finance, and 41% agree that Lloyds Bank have the expertise to help you. A key Performance metric for the activity

53% of viewers have an improved opinion of Lloyds Bank as a result of watching the show.

64% of viewers really liked the show, rating it 7+ out of 10. This was the highest rating for an AFP that we tested  at the time

Social delivered over 1.9milllion organic views across Channel 4 social platforms