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Corporate values transmitted by the main Spanish banks


The present study shows the link that four Spanish banks establish with the recipients and the degree of their affinity, through selected and identified values, and establishing the following categories: clients or non-clients, Ibero-American or Spanish and men or women. In order to analyze the connection, the lab LAICOM applied a reception test on each institution's advertising spots to a sample of 147 people, performed interviews and used scientific procedures and the ProtocoloEVA® tool. The work indicates the level of communication coherence of banks, taking into account the diversity of recipients, and the differences between them to achieve it.

Photo of the research group Laboratorio de Análisis Instrumental de la Comunicación (LAICOM).

The Laboratory of Instrumental Analysis of Communication (LAICOM) of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) investigated the transmission of values from an ethical and communicological perspective by the main Spanish banks. 147 subjects (87 Spaniards and 60 Ibero-Americans) answered a reception test. This shows that the values transmitted by CaixaBank are family, innovation and well-being; the ones from the Sabadell bank are cooperation, friendship and effort; from the Santander bank are effort, cooperation and progress; and from the BBVA bank are independence, innovation and freedom. LAICOM research group used various scientific procedures and a measurement tool called the Protocolo EVA® which was developed and validated by the same group.

The subjects who participated in the test were exposed to four advertising spots played simultaneously through the institutional YouTube channels of each bank, through the main Spanish TV channels in open television during the month of April 2018. The study locates the transmitted values for each bank, compares them and measures their value transmission hability. Moreover, four deep interviews were performed to the communication managers of the four banks studied, in order to check the coherence between the basic approaches of their strategic communication and the values transmitted by their spots.

The results show differences in the perception of values between clients and non-clients. While the clients of Sabadell bank, Santander bank and BBVA bank appreciate a greater value charge than non-clients, in the case of Caixabank the effect is observed contrary. This coincidence in three of the banks shows that clients tend to identify in the advertising spots a greater burden of values than non-clients. This positive assessment would be explained by the affinity and the type of link that the client establishes with its financial services provider. Consistent with this interpretation, the investigation would also indicate that Caixabank customers experience a negative relationship and link with their bank.

The results also show differences in the reception of values between subjects of Spanish origin and those of Latin American origin. In the four cases studied, the same advertising spot is perceived with a much higher value load by Latin American subjects than by Spanish subjects. That seems to express that Spanish subjects distrust much more of these banks than Latin Americans.

Another interesting fact in the results of the values test are the differences between the feminine and masculine evaluations of the values. The study reveals a feminine vision focused on family value, compared to a masculine one much more directed towards the freedoms that technology brings. The results of the research also provide information on the dimension of communicative-consistency (ability to communicate the different recipient profiles consistently). When comparing the values perceived by each of the different groups of subjects analyzed (clients, non-clients, Spaniards, Latin Americans, men and women), it is observed that some banks achieve greater coherence than others in the transmission of their values. Banco de Sabadell, for example, manages to communicate to practically all groups the same values and in the same order of power: cooperation, friendship and effort. On the other hand, Santander bank recipients with different profiles perceive their values with important differences.

Àngel Rodríguez

Audiovisual Communication and Advertising Area. 

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB).


Rodríguez Bravo, A, Montoya Vilar, N., Ladaga, S., Paredes, P.; Ruiz, M.: Valores transmitidos por los principales bancos españoles: localización y medición de su recepción. Prisma Social nº 28. Enero 2020.

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