Neo Financial paints banking as the next industry to disrupt

A fintech launched by the co-founders of SkipTheDishes targets legacy financial institutions in its first national brand campaign.


Prairie-based fintech Neo Financial is positioning itself as the next big disruptor with the launch of its first national brand campaign.

The fast-growing start-up is capitalizing on its trajectory and innovation story to grab the attention of Canadians who bank with traditional financial institutions. Launched in 2019 by SkiptheDishes co-founders Andrew Chau and Jeff Adamson, along with Kris Read, Neo has been “rapidly expanding” over the past year, says Chau, who is also its CEO. In that time, it has expanded its digital-first product offering from credit cards, cashback rewards and everyday money accounts into investment services, and it has “a continuing roadmap of new products and features” on the horizon, he adds.

With all of those services now on offer, the brand is aiming to disrupt the banking industry as much as Skip disrupted the food delivery industry – and that is what lies at the heart of its campaign, “Questions Worth Asking.”

“The Canadian banking industry has traditionally lagged the world when it comes to innovation and competition,” explains Chau. “Despite the oligopolistic nature of the industry, modern technology has the power to remove barriers, increase accessibility, and give all Canadians more control over their money and their future…This was the perfect moment to declare Neo’s mission to reimagine Canada’s financial infrastructure, and build a new future of banking.”

B2_Neo_Financial_What_IfThe campaign, which was produced entirely by Neo’s internal team, centres on a 30-second spot that alludes to a number of tech disruptions that have occurred over the past decade, from food delivery platforms to ride-hailing apps to streaming services. Each are referenced by a “what if” question that each tech answered – setting up banking as the next industry that is primed for disruption.

Rallying against Canada’s Big Banks is not new to financial marketing, especially among upstart fintechs. Koho, for example, ran the “Museum of BS” campaign last year, showing how different “bank stuff” was out of date and antiquated (this year, the company moved to an approach based more generally around current economic realities, though still differentiated its approach from big banks).

Chau says that for Neo, the important part of this campaign was placing itself among the Ubers and Netflixs of the world. That plants a bit of a flag in the ground for what Neo is aiming for, through brands who delivered a level of change that is instantly recognizable to consumers.

“Like Neo, these were businesses that brought innovation to categories that had been held back by legacy oligopolies that weren’t willing or able to innovate,” says Chau. “They also used technology to empower consumers with greater control and access.”

The spot is running across TV and digital video, and is supported by OOH and advertising across “disruptive digital platforms.” It will run in multiple iterations throughout 2022.