Koho wakes up image

The fintech brand goes from selling a goth nightmare to a Gen Z dream.


It seems Koho’s brief goth phase is over.

When the financial services brand relaunched last summer it boldly dropped a moody, 13-minute short film called “Dream Thieves” (still image pictured above). But like a teen’s all-black-makeover in high school, the darker image didn’t last long.


This summer, the brand’s ads are as a bright as a mid-August Ontario summer day. An image of a melting ice-cream, dotted with rainbow-coloured sprinkles, in a waffle cone being held up in a hand that’s also grasping a Koho-branded credit card is clearly meant to be lapped up by millennials and Gen Zers.

In fact, the ad appears next to the bonkers Refinery29 Money Diary, which was anonymously written by a 24-year-old TTC fare-evading PR consultant in Toronto, that got widely hate-read (even by Brad Ross, the ex-TTC comms person) and thus presumably widely seen last week. Buying ad space on the trendy site, which opened a Canadian outpost last fall, was a savvy move that has probably already paid off via increased brand awareness.


The ice-cream post only has 38 likes since being posted last month on Koho’s Instagram page. And while other recent Insta posts, like the above post featuring Gen Z Yellow and an arm holding a coffee mug through a hole in the wall, are visually on point they’ve racked up a fairly meagre number of likes and even fewer comments.

Fintech and online-only bank brands tend to look so similar these days that Up Cannabis even created a parody brand to promote its products. So it’s a bit of a shame that after opting for a look that helped them stand out from the crowd Koho’s current visuals are hard to differentiate from its rivals.

Like a high schooler Koho still seems to still be figuring out its look, but here at Stim we’d say standing out is better than blending in.


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