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Ally Financial’s Andrea Brimmer on competing against ad spend as an underdog

Andrea Brimmer is now nearly 15 years into a career change she says she never expected. Brimmer — who made the move from an advertising agency to Ally Financial in 2008 and has spent the last seven years as the company’s chief marketing and PR officer — says her perspective on getting into the financial sector shifted after this realization:

“The three most important things in your life are your family, your health, and your money,” Brimmer says on The Current Podcast. “And we all work so hard for our money, so if you could be a brand in this space that really puts the customer at the center of everything you do, and really finds ways to get people to think about saving their money in ways that are meaningful to them, that is a really cool opportunity. It’s been more rewarding for me on a personal level than I ever thought it would be.”

Brimmer shares how important it was for Ally Financial to recast the brand with a digital mindset just as the first iPhone launched, how the company differentiates itself from the competition, and the creativity it takes to compete with brands that have more ad dollars to spend.

“When you’re going up against Goliaths from a spend standpoint, and you’re a David, you’ve got to really figure out how to be differentiated. And I think our point of differentiation has come by leaning into the name and the promise of the brand, which is to do it right,” Brimmer says. “We have always adopted this idea of kind of ‘outwit, outlast, outplay,’ and find creative ways to get people to interact with their money.”