NEWS: Euro RSCG shoots epic ads for Abbey merger

Abbey National is launching a pair of ‘blockbuster’ commercials aimed at putting the company at the front of consumers’ minds in the congested financial market.

Abbey National is launching a pair of ‘blockbuster’ commercials aimed at

putting the company at the front of consumers’ minds in the congested

financial market.

Pioneering camera techniques and sophisticated post-production processes

have been used on the 60-second films, which break nationally this

Saturday as a curtain-raiser to next month’s merger of the Abbey

National and the National and Provincial building society.

Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper devised the films, which are designed to show the

scope and stature of the merged organisation. The ads follow the trend,

set by the Halifax, for TV ‘spectaculars’ from financial institutions.

The new films are designed to give Abbey National a modern and down-to-

earth image and show that it combines the best features of a building

society and a bank.

Their appearance comes at a time when financial institutions are

struggling to find points of difference, as rivals respond rapidly to

innovation by launching ‘copycat’ products. At the same time, the Abbey

has had to endure public criticism that it has thrown overboard

traditional building society values in pursuit of profits for


Although one film promotes pensions and the other banking services, they

reflect the Abbey’s shift away from advertising individual products and

into a corporate campaign under the familiar ‘Abbeyness’ theme.

The commercials were shot by the pop promo director, Mike Lipscombe.

Each commercial consists of a long tracking shot as the camera goes

through a series of spirals and pirouettes, connecting a variety of

vignettes to show how Abbey National supports a range of people at

different stages of their lives.

Written by Nick Bird, art directed by Lee Smith and produced by Stark

Films, the commercials involved eight weeks of post-production in which

12 versions of the same shot were laid on top of each other to produce a

distinctive visual style.

Ambrose McGinn, Abbey National’s marketing director, said: ‘Abbeyness is

shorthand for the combination of different properties and attributes

that make up the Abbey National brand.’

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