Using celebrities to stand out

The Need

In 2019 after a highly successful 7-year campaign, Santander decided to move-on from their iconic 1-2-3 campaign. The new campaign features well-known TV presenters Ant & Dec launching their own bank ‘Antandec’. The purpose of the campaign is to communicate that Santander helps customers realise their aspirations, in a light-hearted and engaging way.

Our Approach

We conducted an AdVantage creative effectiveness study on the first creative in the new campaign ‘Brick subscription service’. The ad communicated a service whereby first-time buyers were sent a brick in the post each week to build their own home. The real service offered by Santander was free events for first time buyers.

The Outcome

Our results showed that the lead characters were very polarising (not helped by the launch coinciding with Ant McPartlin being fined for drink-driving). We had three clear recommendations:

1.  Accept some degree of polarisation – better to divide opinion than make no impression at all.

2. Ensure media is targeted towards fans – use media placement to target the likely audience of their shows.

3. Give your key message greater oxygen – devote more time in the narrative for the real service so it isn’t drowned out by the characters or parody.

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