Following our recent post about the Oxo 'Magic Cube' TV advert, this week our pick is the brilliant and quirky advert for First Direct Bank. The protagonists are a platypus, a zebra and a bird beat boxing. We are following Barry the platypus on his way to his local pub as he rants about banks and their "automated recording malarky".
The first few seconds caught me off-guard; particularly the use of black and white (which is very unusual in advertising), the choice of the animal/character and the engaging tone of voice (like having a stroll with Barry).
You would never guess that a bank is behind this trying to sell you an account. Banks TV adverts are packed with good looking professional people straight from an image bank library, making you feel ashamed of your £20 overdraft. HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds TSB are all very corporate in their communications.
First Direct's strapeline is "The unexpected Bank" it definitely is! They are selling a different approach to banking, which is in such current climate very clever but also very risky. They want to be seen as friendly, human and trustworthy and they totally succeed.
The new advertising campaign has been created of JWT London, who have used the team at the Motion Picture Company to give birth to Barry. This process involved 3D and CGI effects and took 10 weeks to complete. "The Unexpected Bank" campaign broke on screen on May 22nd with a series of 10 second teaser adverts, followed by the full 60 second advert launch from 27th May.
First Direct's offline communication approach is also very audacious and minimalist to say the least. Big white slogan "Banking's Better in Black and White" on a black background.
It is also interesting to see this TV advert encapsulate the current trend in design and visual communication: austerity, nostalgia and authenticity. We wish more brands would take such a brave approach to communication, they would probably succeed in reaching their audience.
12 June 2013