The word “satisfying” probably doesn’t do Serial Cut’s latest project justice, however it is hard to think of anything else when watching these dreamy, other-worldly clips.
The work, for Dutch bank ING, is aimed at enticing a younger audience to engage with the financial giant. Bearing in mind most banks opt for those awful non-descript inspirational videos to draw you in, it is refreshing to see a bank try and engage in a different way.
“The assignment consisted of representing visually all the benefits you can have when you open an account with ING,” says Sergio Del Puerto, creative director and founder of Serial Cut. “It's fun and a bit risky for a bank, but I think in Spain the banks are quite funky in their advertising – it's like a new era for us creatively and for them.”
The Madrid-based studio, that Sergio founded in 1999, created video clips accompanied by ASMR sounds and a consistent, calming jingle. The result is something you can easily sit and watch all day.
“The audience of ING is fresh and young, so this language was perfect for them. The agency had clear ideas about the mood, and that it should be 'satisfying' with ASMR – a trend we have all seen on the internet,” Sergio tells It’s Nice That. “Also the colours and textures should feel like a series of animations, having something in common but different at the same time.”
When looking at the videos, it is almost like a greatest hits of things that we as humans feel happy to just sit and watch – think oozing, bursting, peeling, bulging and dripping. It’s all in a vivid orange and magenta colour-way too, that adds to the ease on the eye and the escapism that it provide
“The message we intended to transmit was an idea of softness and hypnotic visual delirium, being as satisfying as we could. Something like: 'how satisfying is being part of our bank and opening an account with us,'” says Sergio.
“These animations aren’t exactly the ones we delivered for the client, as their's had some taglines we took out to keep visuals as pure as possible. But it's true, you can identify much better with what we are talking about if you read 'two days of bare bank account with no charges,' whilst at the same time seeing the number two with liquid coming out. So all of them have this visual language to communicate these benefits that other banks probably don’t have.”
Sergio, who has worked with clients such as Nike, MTV, Converse and Facebook, believes that this is where companies in less exciting businesses are letting themselves down. Deeming them not to be selling themselves to younger generations with imagery and language that is actually appealing to them. “Financial companies don't usually want to take risks when they advertise their products. They want to communicate an idea of 'respect' and 'serious matters', which is fine. But if you see a beautiful graphic, or a more artistic approach, you may reach another type of audience, even though you risk some of the more serious audience not appreciating it,” explains Sergio. “In this case, the campaign was for a young audience and was a blast on social media, which is ultimately where they will watch it.”
It was actually based on social media trends that the concept of “satisfaction” came about, drawing from the types of videos that have been going viral of late: “The idea of creating a series of satisfying videos as an homage to all we see in social media came from the Madrid ad agency, Sra.Rushmore,” says Sergio. “The art direction was done by us, including the textures, shapes and colours. Regarding the colours, we used the ING orange as the base, and added some touches of magenta, violet, gold and cream as secondaries.”
The ASMR aspect of the project is also something that Sergio deems significant, and considers it to be an increasingly important method of sound design that is continually growing: “In the ING project we only added a final jingle to allow people to fully enjoy the ASMR. It can also work as FX, supporting the music too,” says Sergio. “ASMR is becoming a new type of sound that is born to stay, creating a new style and supporting visual language in a very engaging way.”
GallerySerial Cut - ING
Serial Cut - ING
About the Author
Charlie joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in December 2019. He has previously worked at Monocle 24, and The Times following an MA in International Journalism at City University. If you have any ideas for stories and work to be featured then get in touch.