Gabey Goh
Jul 12, 2016

CIMB Bank Singapore 'opens' Instagram branch

From Singapore: ‘The Small Bank Theory’ for CIMB Bank Singapore by Havas Worldwide

CIMB Bank Singapore has launched a new brand campaign, The Small Bank Theory (SBT), to position the bank as one that marches to a different beat for its customers in Singapore.

The bank is looking to stand out in a crowded financial market, garner new customers and register top-of-mind brand recall in the country, in addition to raising awareness of its core product offerings.

While it is one of the biggest universal banks in the Asean region, it only has a small network of branches in the market.

To highlight that size isn’t everything, a core component of the campaign is the introduction of the “world’s smallest bank branch”, touted a first in the world by Havas Worldwide, the agency behind it.

Housed on Instagram, it is designed to look like the exterior of a bank building and closely mimics the experience of visiting a physical bank branch. It allows consumers to explore and learn about CIMB Bank Singapore’s products, services and promotions by taking a journey through the different departments in the Instagram branch.

The execution is intended to establish the principles CIMB Bank Singapore abides by such as always being open regardless of time, limited fine print, attractive interest rates and the fact that every customer is serviced by friendly staff and not an automated operator over the telephone.

The public can visit the branch by searching for CIMBBANKSG on Instagram. The six-month campaign also includes print and outdoor advertising, and digital components.

Josandi Thor, senior managing director, head of group marketing and communications, CIMB Singapore:

At CIMB Bank Singapore, we distinguish ourselves by adopting a very different approach in this highly competitive space. The newly minted SBT campaign encapsulates the values that define us. It is expressed through key narratives that highlight our beliefs and practices. They epitomise our end goal, which is to make banking simple and easy for everyone.

Andrew Hook, group executive creative director (ECD) at Havas Worldwide Singapore:

The creative strategy we employed was built around the idea of the SBT. We wanted to leverage the strengths of CIMB Bank Singapore and convey the message that it’s not about the size but service that a bank provides. The SBT manifesto was the fundamental part of our executions and highlights the basic idea that it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference.

Campaign Asia-Pacific’s view: Full marks should certainly be given for the concept of creating a ‘bank branch’ on Instagram. It does have a faint echo of those 'choose your own adventure' books, in terms of how users can click through to discover all aspects of the ‘bank’.

We like how the agency embraced the platform and its limitations, to create the best possible exploratory experience for curious users; nice use of tagging. Visually as well, the platform seems purpose-built for a building façade and layout.

We’ve seen Instagram being used in creative ways before, such as Between app’s love story mural, but CIMB gets bonus points for being both highly informative and creative at the same time.

This makes us wonder just what else can be done on the platform, and whether CIMB will be the brand to lead the way again.


Group ECD: Andrew Hook
General manager: David Tay (Havas WW) / Anna Chew (Havas Siren) 
Head of digital / group account director: Sue-Ann Chan
Associate account director: Ashley Leong
Creative technologist: Dillah Zakbah
Strategy chief officer: Stefano Augello
Junior strategic planner: Sarah Diedro
Associate creative director: Kelvin Lim
Art director: Dawn Koh
Copywriter: Katrina "Y2" Villanueva
Account manager: Jeffrey Goh
Senior account executive: Valerie Chng


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