The famous human X first appeared in 1980 and in this commercial from 1983 you can see the elements that have come to typify Halifax advertising - stirring music, lots of people and cinemascope scale (1). Together with the line "get a little extra help", it all adds up to a big, emotional message that you know is from the Halifax.
Next up is one of my favourites, "our house" (2). It's impossible to watch this without getting a nice warm feeling. It's a great song, there's some fantastic choreography and a straightforward statement of Halifax being number one for mortgages. People still remember this commercial today and there are not many you can say that of - especially for banks.
In "I only want to be with you", Halifax advertised a current account, with a change up in tempo, although for my money it doesn't quite live up to the standard of "our house".
The "easy like Sunday morning" ad is an absolute classic of its time (3). I'm a huge Lionel Richie fan, so I love the soundtrack, and the cool guy in the loft apartment was exactly who we all aspired to be back then in the 80s. It's amazing that we were advertising cash machines, devices which we totally take for granted today.
Coming right up to date, we have "X bomb" - the ad that changed my life (5). Halifax invited its colleagues to audition to be in the new advertising and I was fortunate enough to be selected from more than 1,500 applicants.
I'll never forget seeing the finished commercial for the first time. I know I'm biased, but I think it looks fantastic and it featured an awesome product that pays a decent rate of interest, unlike the big high-street banks.
I think one of the things that made it stand out was the use of contemporary music - Tom Jones had enjoyed a huge hit with his version of Sex Bomb a few months earlier. And the production values were incredibly glossy (the ad was shot by a company that was very experienced at doing pop videos for the likes of George Michael and Lauryn Hill). Also, the fact that we weren't taking ourselves too seriously made a big difference. No-one had ever seen banks advertise like this before, just don't ask me why - it's all backwards!
Finally, there's the "Bollywood" extravaganza (6), which was shot on location in India - a great experience for all of us. This time we used a famous director called Tarsem, who is himself from India, and we went to the real Bollywood to film the ad. I'd been involved in the judging panel to select the eight boys and girls who made up our new group of stars and they all did a fantastic job in mastering the intricate dance steps with only a few days of rehearsal. I always enjoy the lyrics to our songs and this time we managed to produce the memorable line: "An interest rate as sweet as chutney/for homeowners from here to Putney!" - step aside Cole Porter. Once again, all the Halifax ingredients are here - it's a massive song-and-dance number that leaves you with a smile on your face and (hopefully) a sense that Halifax is a bank that is really committed to "always giving you extra".
1. SAVINGS Title: People gather to form cross Agency: Brunnings (Leeds) Year: 1983 2. MORTGAGES Title: Our house Agency: Dorland Year: 1991 3. CARD CASH ACCOUNT Title: Sunday morning Agency: Dorland Year: 1987 4. CORPORATE Title: Human cheque book Agency: Dorland Year: 1991 5. CURRENT ACCOUNT Title: X bomb Agency: Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners Year: 2000 6. PERSONAL LOANS Title: Bollywood Agency: Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners Year: 2003