Citigroup, 200 Years Citi, MEC US

Among global brands, Citi’s ranking fell dramatically from 2006 to 2011, in part due to the 2008 financial crisis with its focus on the banking industry. To regain trust, Citi shifted the conversation from products and money to its heritage, its history of innovation and its role as an enabler of progress. As Citi was set to celebrate its bicentennial in 2012, the brand conveyed a “history forward” message to demonstrate its global expertise in 200 countries in with customized partnerships in 15 languages.

Partnerships included a year-long program with the Financial Times honoring ingenious individuals and organizations that developed solutions to urban challenges. Citi created ‘One Day In…’ with the BBC for a custom, 12-part series that examines what one day would be like in 12 progressive cities around the world. And with the Wall Street Journal, Citi identified the world’s most innovative city. Local markets customized the creative to fit specific interests and needs for maximum acceptance of the message in each region. Not only did the History Forward campaign break the decline of Citi’s reputation, it created significant improvement to the brand’s image: brand favorability increased 28%, momentum 17% and trust 16%.