Barclays unveils details of Samuel L Jackson ad campaign

LONDON - Barclays has unveiled details of its new ad campaign with commercials starring Samuel L Jackson and directed by Jonathan Glazer, the first it has undertaken since the ill-timed 'big' ads in 2000.

The campaign is called "Fluent in finance" and designed to be thought provoking, positioning Barclays as money experts. The campaign was created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

There are four 40-second executions for TV, directed by Glazer, who also directed the Levi's "odyssey" ad for BBH and the feature film 'Sexy Beast'. The TV work is being supported by poster and press activity.

In the TV ads, Jackson, who stars as Jedi Knight Mace Windu in the latest 'Star Wars' film 'Attack of the Clones', walks towards the camera, talking about different elements of money. In "tale", he says you will feel safer if you know who you are dealing with when your money is at stake; in "sold", he focuses on the secrecy that often surrounds money issues.

The other two executions are called "evil" and "drama", and will break within the next two months. The strapline for the campaign is: "Money speaks in many languages. Barclays understands them all."

Simon Gulliford, Barclays group marketing director, said: "Barclays is very aware that in the UK people are highly advertising literate, as well as sophisticated about their banking needs. Our approach has therefore been deliberately thought provoking, not hand holding."

Barclay's last major ad push, "A big world needs a big bank", became a PR disaster. Its launch clashed with the bank's decision to close smaller branches across the country in a cost-cutting move. That campaign also played on the celebrity theme, featuring actors such as Robbie Coltrane and Anthony Hopkins.

BBH replaced Leagas Delaney on the £15m Barclays account in August 2001 without a pitch.

The campaign breaks on May 31 and will feature during England's World Cup matches.

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