Copyright Qode Interactive 2016
Bank becomes broadcaster By Tim Plyming, 30 November, 2016

At Green Rock, we spend a huge amount of time focused on how brands and organisations can leverage the revolution in how audiences are consuming content – to become content creators in their own right.

We have watched how arts and cultural organisations have made the most of the opportunity, bringing their content directly to audiences across the world. The Metropolitan Opera in New York was the pioneer, with the Met’s Live in HD series, now reaching more than 2,000 cinemas in 72 countries around the world. In the UK, The National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company have been successfully expanding the reach of their content through cinema broadcasts as well as live-streaming productions direct to schools.

In a previous article, I noted how some high street brands are also using the rapid changes in content distribution to become digital publishers in their own right, and successful ones at that. Guy Martin’s Passion for Life, made exclusively for 4oD in partnership with Alfa Romeo has been so popular that it has now found a new broadcast home on Channel 4.

Burberry has also led the way in establishing itself as a content brand, now regularly live-streaming its main fashion shows globally.

It is trend that we are certain is going to grow as brands and organisations look inside at the content opportunities within. Industry leaders predict that by 2018, 25% of traditional advertising spend will be spent on native content, speaking directly to audiences, establishing on-going conversations.

Over the last few months Green Rock have been working with NatWest to explore their first steps into becoming an always-on content publisher. The result is Money Bite and the first episode is available now, exclusively through YouTube.

The individual films are set within a traditional magazine format, reinvented for a digital first environment (inspired by formats already popular on YouTube including Jamie’s Food Tube and Sorted Food). Hosted by Angellica Bell and Gethin Jones, Money Bite aims to talk about money through a lifestyle lens, in a world where we are more comfortable talking about sex and relationships than we are money.

Filmed in a specially created pop-up studio in Birmingham, the first episode features a family taking-on a Budget Takeover challenge, where the children run the family finances for a week. The challenge highlights the work of NatWest’s MoneySense programme which has brought financial education to millions of school children using real-life situations, such as getting pocket money, buying a first phone or saving for a car, to prepare them for the financial decisions they will need to make as adults.

The first episode will also highlight the huge amount of work that NatWest do in supporting entrepreneurship and small business across the UK, and in particular female entrepreneurs, through its Entrepreneurial Spark programme, the world’s largest free business accelerator for early stage and growing ventures.

We feature the inspiring story of an alumni of the programme, Rosie Ginday who trained as a high-end pastry under Michelin starred chef Glynn Purnell before setting up Miss Macaroon in 2011. The award-winning Birmingham-based social enterprise reinvests its profits to help young unemployed care leavers, offenders and ex-offenders into training and employment through the hand-baking and sale of French macaroons. Miss Macaroon has recently opened its first Macaroon and Prosecco bar in Birmingham (the first of many planned across the UK).

In addition, the first episode of Money Bite showcases the work that NatWest undertakes to keep customers safe and secure in a digital-first world, staying abreast of the technologies of the future. During the filming, we were granted exclusive access to the bank’s digital innovation studio, a global R&D unit that works with over 1,000 companies spanning the UK, Israel and Silicon Valley.

Money Bite supports NatWest’s current ‘We are what we do’ campaign that recognises banks should be responsible for what they do as well as what they say. All the content that features in Money Bite are stories and activity that is already happening across NatWest day in day out, what has been exciting for us is to think about how that can become content in its own right.

Tim Plyming, Director of Content