First Direct brings badly behaved robots to homepages

First Direct is launching a digital campaign based on its current television ads featuring Vic Reeves and a robot.

The campaign, which highlights the bank's personalised services, begins with a takeover of the homepages of MSN UK and Yahoo! UK & Ireland using the new strapline: "Step over the line."

A team of animated First Direct characters move across the pages, remove actual content and replace it with messages from the bank.

The execution, designed by the creative agency Story using Tangozebra technology, aims to illustrate how First Direct is not the average banking brand and that it goes that extra mile for customers.

It reflects the theme of the television executions that use a robot to highlight the poor service given to customers by automated systems.

The new-media push also features robots that cause havoc and chase "real" people.

The campaign, which was planned and bought by the digital media agency PHDiQ, the interactive arm of PHD, is the first time content on the homepage has been altered during an advertising push.

In support of the initial burst of activity, a one-month online ad campaign will launch across the portals MSN UK and Yahoo! UK & Ireland, Friends Reunited and the auction website eBay UK.

A range of formats including banners, buttons and skyscrapers will be used to illustrate the benefits of banking with First Direct over traditional services.

In September, First Direct launched an interactive television campaign on Sky Digital. It featured a version of the 30-second spot used in its current television ad campaign. The interactive TV campaign formed part of a wider e-mail and SMS push.

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