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Juliette Binoche tells Polish people why she likes Credit Agricole

November 7, 2011

Crédit Agricole, the largest retail banking group in France, decided to rebrand Lukas Bank, its Polish subsidiary to bear the groups name Credit Agricole Bank Polska S.A.  For the massive rebranding campaign that started just a few weeks ago Credit Agricole hired an Oscar-winning French actress Juliette Binoche who happens to have some Polish ancestry.

Credit Agricole has grown for 117 years - from now also in Poland. You'll like it as me, Juliette Binoche

Juliette Binoche was one of three French actresses that were considered for the campaign – the other two were Audrey Tautou and Sophie Marceau.  The creative team which developed the idea of the campaign must have been inspired by a highly popular French movie Amélie (also known as  Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain) which contains a funny montage sequence in which Amélie (played by Audrey Tautou) tells us the things she likes and dislikes.  In the first TV spot – that launched Credit Agricole brand in Poland – Juliette Binoche reveals that she likes: simple things, chocolate, the look on the winner’s face, honesty, fairness, to have friends all around the world and things that have history.  She dislikes: financial gibberish, dishonesty, small print, empty promises and small banks that tell fairy tales…

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At the end of the spot we learn why we should fall in love with Credit Agricole  just like Juliette Binoche did – it’s because Credit Agricole has 117 years of history, ranks as one of the biggest banks in the world with over 54 million customers in 70 countries and still likes things that are sensible, fair and simple.  Juliette Binoche closes the ad by speaking some poor Polish – she says: Try to like it [Credit Agricole] as I do.  Credit Agricole’s Polish tagline is: Simple and Sensible [prosto i z sensem].

Credit Agricole's newspaper ad with Juliette Binoche

The rebranding campaign employs all the major media: TV, outdoor, internet and press.  What is a bit strange is that it completely ignores predecessor’s brand (Lukas Bank) and simply launches the new brand as if it entered the market out of nowhere. Lukas Bank was one of the key players in consumer finance segment in Poland – it was particularly strong in installment plan sales at some major retailers.  This affected the brand’s image and made it difficult to turn Lukas Bank into a universal bank.

I assume this might be the reason why Credit Agricole is not introduced as the successor of Lukas Bank which it obviously is as it owned the bank since 2001.   The second TV ad that followed the one with Binoche is a typical product-oriented spot which promotes the “first account” for students.  Its hero – a student – in the similar manner tells us things he likes and dislikes…

The campaign was created by a new agency called NestPoint.  The ad with Juliette Binoche was directed by talented Polish female director Małgorzata Szumowska and photographed by Michał Englert.  Below you may watch the Making of the ad.

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