CANNES — In an effort to reach millennials, Bank of America turned to a platform and a publisher that people don’t closely associate with financial services: Pinterest and Vice.

The conversation with Vice CEO Shane Smith began in Cannes a year earlier and led to a video series the bank is sponsoring entitled “The Business of Life,” according to Meredith Verdone, Bank of America’s global chief strategy and marketing officer. Meanwhile, the Pinterest partnership encompasses promoted pins that users of the platform discover when they’re looking for relevant content. For example, someone who’s doing searches on “planning a wedding” might find a non-branded pin from Bank of America with 10 financial tips.

“We saw on both of these really great engagement — in fact, better engagement than any of our other ‘Better Money Habits’ content on any other site,” says Verdone in an interview with Beet.TV recorded at Cannes.

Verdone also reflects on the growing urgency for brands to have a direct relationship with platforms and publishers, which was how Bank of America made these deals with Vice and Pinterest.

“The agency isn’t the intermediary,” she says. “It’s not going to work that way. This is too complicated.”

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