Abbey National gives house buying the human touch

Abbey National is poised to roll out a new campaign that targets first-time house buyers.

Abbey National is poised to roll out a new campaign that targets

first-time house buyers.

In a radical departure for the financial services giant, the campaign

will use tube cards for the first time, postcards in restaurants and

some specialist press, in a drive devised by its roster agency, Barker

and Ralston.

Abbey National has identified three target groups of first-time mortgage

buyers and has produced three different executions.

Each ad aims to tap into the frustrations felt by people who don’t own

their own homes. The first breaks next week and targets people in rented

property who dislike having to live with someone else’s choice of


The ad shows a pair of bare male feet standing on a garish carpet with

the strapline: ’Last year we saved thousands of people from their

landlord’s taste.’

The other ads are targeted at those frustrated by living with their

parents and at couples setting up their first home together. The entire

campaign will run for two months.

Sue Aitken, new-business director at Barker and Ralston, said: ’This is

a new approach to first-time buyer advertising. The idea is to tap into

the urban rented accommodation scenario. It is unusual for financial

services institutions to do something that treats people like humans

rather than people with money.’

The ads were written by Jon Fitzgerald and art directed by Nicky


Media planning and buying is through TMD Carat.

Sophie Caswell, group head at TMD, said: ’The idea was to look at ways

of targeting first-time buyers. One of the main groups within the

first-time buyer audience is those who are renting property. Tube cards

were an appropriate way to reach them rather than through more

conventional use of media.’

Abbey National uses Barker and Ralston for all press work while Euro

RSCG Wnek Gosper handles its broadcast advertising.