MEDIA ANALYSIS: BRAND SPEND ANALYSIS - Egg is hatching plans for an online ad campaign to drag the bank into profit

Prudential is preparing a major online ad campaign for its one-year-old direct banking service, Egg. But the insurance giant cracked the market using more traditional media.

Prudential is preparing a major online ad campaign for its

one-year-old direct banking service, Egg. But the insurance giant

cracked the market using more traditional media.

The Egg service, which promises individually tailored financial

services, launched on 11 October last year using the line, 'individual

money matters'.

Egg spent almost pounds 6 million on its launch advertising - pounds

3.24 million on TV and pounds 2.3 million on press between October and

November. The remainder was spent on radio campaigns that ran on Capital

FM and Melody FM.

The debut press campaign featured pictures of individuals who cited the

reasons why they thought Egg was fantastic.

Since launch, Egg has stopped using TV, and its spend in 1999 has

comprised pounds 2.1 million on press and pounds 1.5 million on direct

mail. Loose press inserts were used to promote its personal loan, which

also benefited from a door-drop to more than two million homes.

The Daily Mail has picked up by far the biggest share of the press

spend, with 21.1 per cent. The next most popular vehicle was The

Express, which landed 13.9 per cent, well ahead of The Daily Telegraph

(9.4 per cent), The Sunday Times (8.9 per cent) and The Mail on Sunday

(8.8 per cent).

The media buying strategy clearly worked as Egg achieved its target of

500,000 customers within the first six months, and had achieved its

initial five-year target of attracting pounds 5 billion of savings.

But from this summer onwards it looks as if Egg is going to take much of

its advertising online.

In August, the company signed a pounds 1 million marketing deal with web

company Excite, followed by a pounds 6.4 million deal with AOL in

September. Egg is likely to spend more than pounds 14 million on

advertising in the next 12 months, and analysts predict that as much as

70 per cent of that will be on non-traditional media.

From the outset, Egg had a clear strategy of disseminating its products

online and through digital TV, and it has offered a number of

internet-only financial products. On several occasions, it has cited

research from the Henley Centre indicating that by 2013, two out of

every three financial products will be sold via the internet. The

company's whole ethos is to tap in to this valuable market, and it seems

to be working, as Egg is the UK's market leader in e-commerce financial


Despite this, Egg has essentially bought market share by offering

savings and loan packages at rival-beating rates. Its losses in the

first half of 1999 were pounds 69 million. And although online

processing costs can be as much as four times lower than telephone

transactions - and ten times lower than via branches - Prudential will

be counting on the success of low-cost, high-return internet advertising

to help drag the company into profit.

Research by Media Monitoring Services, tel: 01763-245151

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