Repositioning Africa’s biggest bank during a global pandemic

Standard Bank
M&C Saatchi Abel

Multi-platform Campaign

Repositioning the largest bank on the African continent is a difficult feat on its own, but add the generation’s greatest pandemic and largest economic crisis to the mix, and it becomes a nearly impossible task. Still, impossibilities have never stopped us. While other brands played it safe to see how the COVID-19 pandemic played out, we decided to speak up and inspire our nation with a declaration of hope: It Can Be. This bold statement is more than a payoff line; it’s a way to encourage South Africans to dream of a better tomorrow even when they felt locked down in their today.

Radio Ad in Sign Language

A Rallying Cry of Hope 

We knew that three simple words wouldn’t be enough to inspire a nation – not to mention one in crisis. We needed a rallying cry with meaningful action, real stories that every person could relate to. We needed impact. ‘It Can Be’ became a platform for Standard Bank to share the stories of remarkable people, in remarkable ways, to make anyone who saw them reconsider what is and isn’t possible, and to reflect upon what can be for them.

It Can Be was about looking at life – and financial products – in an unexpected way. It wasn’t about the Business Account; it was the feeling of opening your own business. It wasn’t about the home loan; it was about feeling the grass between your toes as you enjoyed your own space on a Saturday afternoon. It wasn’t about the Student Loan; it was about knowing that your grandchild will be the first doctor in the family.

IT CAN BE Deaf Radio


From discovering remarkable people doing remarkable things throughout South Africa and empowering the youth, to creating the first Deaf Radio ad and inspiring hope throughout a nation, the story of It Can Be is far from over. It’s a story rooted in humanity, going beyond what’s expected, giving hope to millions that that Standard Bank is their partner in weathering any storm to bring their dreams to life.

Digital short films

It Can Be is more than a payoff line. It's a rallying call.

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