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1% for the Planet Checking Account


Bank of the West



Positive Provocation

We created the first bank account that helps everyday people take climate action.

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As a challenger brand, Bank of the West found themselves increasingly drowned out by big national banks shouting the same tired, over-used banking tropes: convenience, friendly service, and low fees. Worse, Bank of the West was seeing their market share decrease in California, their most important market, where new players such as Chime and Varo are emerging, and consumers feeling increasingly comfortable with digital only banking outlets.

In the face of this challenging market dynamic, Bank of the West tapped into a growing desire for brands who put principle alongside profit. Their financing policies were so unique that they brought them to the forefront—to reveal what the Bank was NOT financing with their customers’ money, like Big Tobacco, Fracking, and Arctic drilling. With this fresh angle relevant to the human agenda, Bank of the West captured new interest and awareness.

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Bank of the West is not typically the first bank that comes to mind when consumers consider switching banks. To change that, we needed to zero in on consumers who value more than just cash offers or convenience and are interested in what the Bank stands for and their financing policies. Therefore, our objective was to increase consideration among likeminded Californians by demonstrating how the new 1% For the Planet Checking Account could give their money agency, and thereby boost acquisition around the unique product.




Millennials is a generation with strong opinions on who they will do business with and why. 91% of our Millennial target believes overwhelmingly in climate change and are deeply concerned. It’s a belief they’re taking action against, with 81% expecting brands to make public declarations of corporate citizenship and 91% declaring they would switch brands to one associated with a shared cause. Which makes them the perfect audience for Bank of the West’s value focused messaging around sustainability and social responsibility.

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The media campaign focused on showcasing the 1% For the Planet Checking Account in action in digital and social media where we had natural editorial alignment with environmental issues and sustainable living. Wavemaker activated this strategy with multiple media partners such as the Guardian and NowThis.

We brought the brand story to life through sponsored videos, featured editorials and social amplification. Additionally, Wavemaker sought out first-to-market video opportunities that enabled consumers to take action. The charitable trailer was featured on the Guardian’s homepage, the Guardian donated $1 to 1% For the Planet for every video view.


Through programmatic digital tactics, Wavemaker created synergy across upper funnel and acquisition media, ensuring that we re-engaged with prospects who were exposed to OOH or digital TV, driving consumers to Bank of the West website and ultimately, converting them into new-to-bank customers. The most successful tactics Wavemaker managed jointly with the Bank’s acquisition agency partner led to a 61% increase in conversion rate in acquisition

With offline channels, as proximity to branch is a key consideration for switching banks, Wavemaker leveraged Addressable TV Zone targeting and programmatic OOH based on the Bank’s branch locations to reach our target audience in key DMA’s, layered with Experian data that targeted “green” mindset and behaviors.


This first-of-its-kind account drove interest in the Bank that we literally couldn’t buy: the highest consideration levels in Bank history. Not only did we outperform our peer banks in new to bank customers we also surpassed pre-pandemic forecasts by 139%.

lift in aided awareness
lift in consideration

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