About the client

LINK is the UK’s largest cash machine network. Effectively, every cash machine in the UK is connected to LINK, and LINK is the only way banks and building societies can offer their customers access to cash across the whole of the UK. The LINK Network is a fundamental part of the UK’s payments infrastructure and used by millions of consumers every week.

The challenge

LINK is determined to ensure people can access cash conveniently, and as part of their Financial Inclusion Programme they wanted to both reach communities that lacked free-to-use cash machines and inform residents of their right to request an ATM installation. Initial research identified pockets of communities around the UK that merited targeting, but with a very limited budget it was difficult knowing where to begin, and which channels to choose from.

2019 – 2020 pilot campaigns

Given the minimal budget, Cite suggested using social media to run an initial advertising campaign that would send people to a landing page to complete an ATM-request form. Initial research identified Facebook as the most appropriate channel for the pilot, and the North-East of England as the most suitable testing area.

Using Facebook’s ad platform, we were able to:

  • Focus on particular age-groups and very specific geographic regions
  • Run the campaign for a limited period
  • A/B/C test ad creative
  • Report regularly on conversions


The results were impressive, with 20 communities making requests. LINK were very encouraged and the pilot was promptly extended to Northern Ireland, where communities had traditionally been more difficult to reach.

2021 nationwide campaign

Following the success of the 2020 campaign, LINK commissioned Cite to roll out the campaign on a much wider basis. However, before we began any creative or media planning, we were very keen to shore up the creative hunches that sat behind the pilot campaign with substantive research that would verify our understanding of the audience and the media choices they made.

Our research involved a quantitative survey supported by AI driven insights to identify and understand our different audience segments, and aid the development of the personas.

Using artificial intelligence to analyse and process millions of datapoints.

We are able to sculpt entirely unique audience personas in far greater detail and in a fraction of the time that traditional methods require.

Laura Bent

Founder, Cite

From the qualitative survey results, and working in conjunction with LINK, we identified three areas in the UK that should be initially targeted by our new campaign – Cornwall, West Midlands and Yorkshire. The research also verified the results of our audience personas work – identifying a number of key audiences that our creative should target, and confirming Facebook as a suitable digital channel.

The creative

Cite’s creative team recommended a visual route that overlaid a simple and direct message onto a playful visual treatment that tapped into the UK’s rich seam of quirky local place names. This was deliberately designed to resonate with our audience’s rightful pride in their local knowledge.

The concept had a clear call-to-action, and the illustrative style had a nostalgic tinge, popular with our audience. The landing pages were deliberately designed to echo the ad style, to maintain consistency of the user’s experience.


The campaign generated numerous enquiries and requests for cash machines to be installed. In total the campaign had a reach of 70,000 with over 800 click-throughs to the campaign content.

Cite have supported our work improving access to cash across the country.

As a result of their campaigns, we’ve reached millions of people, connected with communities across the country and improved access to cash as well.

Nick Quin

Head of Financial Inclusion, LINK

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How we helped

Branding. Art direction. Illustration. UI. UX.