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“Our aim was to get more insight into the next generation and their needs from financial services,” says Ed Whatton, Head of Creative for Group Innovation at Nationwide.

Nationwide's partnership with D&AD New Blood Awards put the brand's marketing challenge onto the creative curriculum of 2,500 colleges and universities around the world, as tutors look to D&AD for a fresh crop of briefs that reflect real brands and the current state of the industry. 

The brief

Nationwide gained access to tens of thousands of students with unique and innovative approaches to problem-solving. The brand's first D&AD New Blood Awards Brief challenged entrants to come up with better ways to keep track of spending and engage young savers.

Over the years since, Nationwide has worked with students to explore how, with so many loyalty schemes around, it could help students to better keep track of their rewards; how to help young savers to make more ethical decisions; and how to engage the next generation on managing their finances and careers, using data collected by Nationwide.


D&AD students have come up with an array of innovative ideas for Nationwide which the business recently showcased at its headquarters – a reminder to employees of the importance of challenging past thinking and putting customers’ needs first.

The building society is happy with the ongoing partnership which has also led to increased awareness of the brand amongst 18-24 year Design and Communications students, who are often seen as early adopters.

“The last three years have shown us that the next generation has a large voice and a large part to play in shaping our industry,” Whatton says. “It makes us excited to know that younger generations still care about the same principle as us: building a better future.”

In addition to Nationwide’s interest in gaining insights, they’re keen supporters of building career opportunities. “As a D&AD New Blood Award-winner myself, I knew giving students the opportunity to tackle a live brief can help lead to future careers and a boost in confidence” Whatton added.

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