Keeping track of the finances is serious business in any business. And it can also make you want to tear your hair out at times.
But a new ad campaign for financial operations platform Bill takes a comedic approach to highlighting stress points and how the company solves them. The campaign, called “Meet Bill,” is from ad agency Odysseus Arms and features three new ads.
“Stress Balls” opens on an accounting manager frantically squeezing a stress ball because she’s overwhelmed by “stress, expense reporting, budgeting, data entry, reimbursing, overspending, underspending.” When told, “You know, Bill can help with that,” she thinks it’s “Bill in sales?” After being shown the software, she stands up, laughs and tosses away her stress ball, and yells, “Everybody, I’m in love with Bill!” Not Bill in sales, she quickly clarifies.
“Late Night” portrays a senior accountant who works late so often he’s resorted to installing a coffee shop in his office. Keeping him going is a bumbling barista named Bill, who can’t pronounce the customers’ names scrawled on macchiato cups.
And “Camped Out” shows the campaign spokesperson entering a CEO’s glass-paneled waiting room to encounter the finance manager cooking breakfast in front of a tent – so he can catch the boss to approve a pile of invoices.
To prep for the campaign, the agency spent dozens of hours with accounting professionals and involved them in creative storytelling using its proprietary Third3ye approach. According to agency, the pros revealed a lot of pain points not being addressed in ad messages.
“Several accounting professionals told us they bring sleeping bags and pillows to the office during reporting season, so a tent is only a touch of hyperbole,” said Franklin Tipton, Chief Creative Officer at Odysseus Arms. “When we showed our script idea to our Third3ye panel, they said, ‘That’s me. That’s my life.’”
The video ads were directed by Tim Hamilton.
There’s also an out-of-home component with illustrations in Bill’s signature graphic style that depict accounting pros solving pain points using the product. One example: a deskside presentation is accompanied by big copy: “More control and visibility. Precisely.” The ads are tagged, “Automate your financial operations.”
“We’ll speak in a kind of accountant language shorthand on a billboard, which intensifies the conversation,” says agency CEO Libby Brockhoff. “Bill is designed by and for people who take protecting their company seriously. Accounting pros require perfection in their work, so they aren’t convinced unless you get granular.”
Odysseus Arms teamed with R&R Partners to design the media plan. Commercials will air on CTV devices in select markets and appear in digital media in LinkedIn and Meta, as well as other placements.
“Meet Bill” follows a campaign the agency launched a year ago called, “We Don’t Do That Anymore.” That effort is said to have doubled the client’s awareness across the markets in which the campaign appeared within six months.