Barclays Bank brings the stock market to the man in the street

- Barclays Bank has launched a direct banking company – b2 – selling a new form of savings which brings stock market investment to the ordinary man in the street.

- Barclays Bank has launched a direct banking company – b2 – selling a new form of savings which brings stock market investment to the ordinary man in the street.

B2's flagship product is the Advanced Savings Account, which offers tax free returns from stock market investment but without the risk of losing your money, since part of the funds are used to pay for protection against share price falls.

A massive £15 million advertising campaign through Banks Hoggins O'Shea kicked off this Monday with a series of teasers introducing the new company's logo. These will be followed next week by 20 more commercials featuring the film star Richard E. Grant, who is fronting his first ever advertising campaign.

The ads, which were created Ken Hoggins and Chris O'Shea, the creative partners at Banks Hoggins, all feature the deep blue sea and sky of a Caribbean beach, as a reminder of Barclays' hallmark blue colour, although none of the commercials ever mention the name Barclays.

'A new financial company that will change the way we save for ever?' asks Grant in one commercial. 'Can it really be?' While in a second he ponders: 'A fresh, modern and open company?. Can it really be?'

The main body of the campaign, which was directed by Daniel Barber through Rose Hackney Barber, breaks on 18 May, and will continue intermittently until the end of the year. In this, Grant goes on to explain the unique features of the Advanced Savings Account, such as its tax free returns, protection against market falls, low cost of entry and flexibility.

Banks Hoggins was briefed to create a campaign emphasising a clear, simple product from a young, flexible, company that aims to help the consumer without confusing him or her with jargon. The agency helped to design the logo, while media was handled by Barclays' media shop of record, MediaVest.

All ads bear a direct response telephone number.





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