NEWS: NatWest changes tack with family spots through BBH

NatWest launched a new phase of advertising this week by introducing the Cannings, an extended family which it hopes to use in its TV spots for at least the next five years.

NatWest launched a new phase of advertising this week by introducing the

Cannings, an extended family which it hopes to use in its TV spots for

at least the next five years.



Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Motive have been given a pounds 10 million

media budget for the rest of the year. The campaign will extend into the

autumn with three executions - for mortgages, insurance and small

businesses - that will each run for a month.



The campaign, which has been in development for six months, was created

by BBH’s joint creative directors, Graham Watson and Bruce Crouch, who

art directed and wrote the ad, respectively. It was directed by Simon

Cheek through Spirit Films.



Black-and-white teaser ads have introduced the family over the past

week. The first full-colour execution, which is for mortgages, shows the

family moving out of town to set up home in the countryside. The

Cannings are expected to experience further upheavals over the next few

years.



Ian Schoolar, head of brand communications at NatWest, said: ‘The ads

all feature small, unexpected human touches that will live in the memory

and break through the automatic filters that people put up when faced

with ads for financial institutions.’



He admitted that NatWest’s last major campaign from 1991 to 1994, which

ran with the line, ‘we’re here to make life easier’, lacked a certain

credibility. ‘It is very difficult to get people to believe in financial

advertising. If there is too much gloss, people will find it irrelevant,

and too much branding detracts from reality,’ he added.



Schoolar said that, for this reason, the casting of the ad, which stars

the TV actors, Gary Olsen and Samantha Beckinsale, as the father and

mother, was particularly important.



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