First Direct launches campaign in Downton Abbey slot

First Direct unveiled a brand ad during last night's opening episode of 'Downton Abbey'.

The campaign, created by JWT London, built up to Sunday evening’s premier of the full 30-second spot with a series of 10-second teasers across TV and social media starting from Wednesday (17 September).

The overall brand activity is called "the unexpected bank". The new creative work, entitled "little frill" builds on the bank’s previous ad, "unexpected" starring Barry the platypus.

The new ad centres on the story of a frilled lizard that is frustrated by a number of poor customer service experiences, the solution to which is First Direct.

The executive creative director was Russell Ramsey. Jason Berry was the creative director and the creative was Miles Bingham. Dom & Nic directed the spot through Outsider.

Little Frill has its own Twitter account, with a bio that reads, "Discerning pizza lover, keen runner and reptilian celebrity. Not a fan of shoddy service."

There is also a content hub called Little Frill’s Fridge where users can play a video game based on the lizard’s life.

JWT, We Are Social, Nice, MPC and Mindshare worked together to activate the various elements of the campaign.

Zoe Shore, the head of marketing at First Direct, said: "It’s great to introduce ‘little frill’ on the eve of the bank’s 25th anniversary on 1 October.

"He’s a great advocate for customer service and you can’t help but connect with him as he gets his ‘frills’ up when everyday life situations frustrate him.

"The unexpected tone of our Barry the platypus ads really resonated with our target audience and this latest character will build on that awareness.

"We’ve also developed Little Frill’s social voice and content opportunities to broaden the campaign reach."

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