The Bank of England was ready to unveil Britain’s first polymer banknote, which featured none other than Sir Winston Churchill. But, the Bank needed to raise trust and educate the public about the new design before release. As part of their nationwide integrated marketing campaign, Cyber-Duck was selected to produce a stunning new website that offered unique ways to interact with, explore and share The New Fiver. The website received over 650,000 visitors in the first four months after launch.
Visitors in first 4 months
Traffic referred from social media
Consumer Website Runner-Up
Wirehive 100 Awards
Founded in 1694, the Bank of England’s mission is to maintain the monetary and financial stability of the UK. One of their key responsibilities is to sustain confidence in our currency.
British banknotes have been printed on cotton paper for 320 years. But that was set to change. New notes are now designed and printed onto polymer: a thin, transparent plastic film. This decision followed the Bank’s 3-year research programme that uncovered the key benefits of the material.
The £5 note was the first to be released – with a new design that featured none other than Sir Winston Churchill! But the Bank faced a significant challenge. They needed to raise awareness of The New Fiver’s design and material. Only this would avoid any public confusion when the banknote entered circulation in September 2016.
Cyber-Duck has extensive experience with customer awareness campaigns and websites. We were chosen to design and develop the website for The New Fiver! The project needed to encourage the public to engage with the banknote online, well before they could see and touch it in real life.
1. Build confidence and trust in the new banknote, as the focal point for the Bank’s multi-channel campaign.
2. Provide unique, creative ways to interact with, explore and share The New Fiver.
3. Justify the investment in the banknote by diving into the three main benefits of polymer – cleaner, safer, stronger – in an engaging way.
Following our accredited user-centred design process, we began with extensive stakeholder interviews across the Bank’s Digital, Comms and Banknote teams.
By combining their insights with meticulous audience research, we defined archetypal personas to target within the general public. These were grouped by interest – such as planners, influencers, grazers and hunters – as this was the most significant behavioural differentiator on the website.
Establishing these personas inspired our key content themes for The New Fiver website. Our work must fit within the Bank’s multi-channel educational campaign. So we considered how the website could integrate and enhance their diverse customer touchpoints from the Blenheim Palace launch event to roadshows, press and social media.
We decided that striking a balance between detailed information and powerful graphics was the best way to capture attention yet educate the public. Our design for the New Fiver website offered unique ways to interact with, explore and share the banknote!
Users can enjoy exploring the note in 360° – dragging the slider to slowly reveal design features and intricate attributes.
Each benefit of polymer is encapsulated with a strong image – demonstrating the note’s resilience.
The life and work of Sir Winston Churchill is given full tribute by the Bank’s Governor, Mark Carney.
The New Fiver was unveiled at an exclusive launch party at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The Bank’s Governor, Mark Carney inspired visitors by explaining how money is our collective memory, celebrating the figures that symbolise British achievement.
The event was perfectly complemented by a fun, interactive experience – challenging the great British public to scrunch, tear and dunk the resilient polymer note (to no avail!).
But digital users weren’t left out. With a stunning dedicated website, users enjoyed exploring The New Fiver’s features in 360° and marvelling at each benefit of polymer. It drew visitors throughout the Bank’s education campaign in August – culminating in a frenzy as the note hit the high street on September 13th!
Articles delved into the note’s design and tested polymer to its limits. The website was featured in top news coverage including the BBC, Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Mail.
The website’s design was voted for an Honourable Mention by the Awwwards. It was announced as the Runner-Up for the Best Consumer Website at the Wirehive 100 Awards.
The website received over 650,000 visitors in the first four months after launch. This included over 40,000 visitors in just one day, when the note entered circulation in September!
It’s clear the website’s visual content engaged the British public and encouraged them to share the £5. Organic social media referred 28.6% of traffic – the most significant source of visitors.
Launching a new banknote in a new material that feels substantially different from traditional paper notes presents a tough challenge for us. We have to ensure the public are aware but also familiar with the new design and key features before the issuing date.
We chose Cyber-Duck to help us achieve not only awareness for the new note, but critically wider acceptance. They designed and developed a website that portrays The New Fiver almost as a work of art. It conveys the key messaging in a subtle and effective way through interactive elements and a stunning look overall.