Metro Bank launches first brand campaign as it eyes expansion

Bank aims to grow brand awareness outside London.

Metro Bank: ad focuses on the perks of people-people banking
Metro Bank: ad focuses on the perks of people-people banking

Metro Bank, which has been on high streets for almost a decade, is evolving the brand with its first campaign that celebrates the perks of "people-people banking".

Launching today (27 January), Metro Bank’s out-of-home activity stars six bank employees who pose alongside taglines focusing on the bank’s perks for customers, including extended hours, year-round phone service and in-store card printing.

People-people banking: campaign features TV and out-of-home activity

The debut campaign was inspired by the bank’s commitment to customer service. Metro Bank took the number-one spot for personal customer service in the Competition and Market Authority’s Service Quality Survey in August 2019.

All employees featured in the brand’s out-of-home ads were picked from an internal pool of 80 applicants hoping to be "the face of Metro Bank". Ads have been placed near stores in 170 locations across Britain to showcase the brand’s "zest".

Metro Bank is also set to launch a TV spot, created by Mr President, which follows a bank manager (played by an actress) as she walks to work, interacting with shop owners and locals alike before opening the bank to a customer and her dog.

Debuting on Wednesday (29 January), the TV spot will appear in around 400 cinemas near Metro Bank locations. It was created by Elliot & Anders and directed by J Marlow through Outsider.

'People-people banking'

Jess Myers, Metro Bank’s brand and marketing director, told Campaign: "Our purpose as a company has always been around creating fans – everything we do is about delivering exceptional service through our customers, and we think about putting service and people at the centre of everything we do. 

"We call that people-people banking, and so we've developed a campaign centred on the experience customers have coming into Metro Bank."

Myers, who joined the bank in a newly created role last November, hopes the brand’s first campaign will "evolve the brand" as it prepares to expand across Britain. 

"Over the past decade, our focus has really been around building the bank and establishing our stores in our local communities, which has served us really well," she said. "As we start to expand our brand and our stores outside London, this is the right time to bring together a brand campaign to demonstrate who we are and what we stand for."

Metro Bank opened its 73rd store in Cardiff last week (it's first branch in Wales). It is primary based in London and the south east of England, with only one store in Manchester, one in Liverpool and none in Scotland.

Myers added: "We’ve always set out to challenge the status quo and revolutionise banking, and that's what we're doing with the products and services."

Competition from fintech brands

The past few months have proven to be monumental for fintech brands, with both Curve and Starling Bank launching debut campaigns in October.

According to Which, roughly a third of the UK's bank branches have shut within the past five years alone, making room for digital challengers such as First Direct, which launched a campaign earlier this month focusing on the impacts of financial anxiety.

Yougov named fellow fintech brand Monzo the brand most consumers were likely to recommend in the UK.

When asked about the competition from such brands, Myers said: "We are the really big banks on the high street – we aren't one of the fintech banks where you just do it on your app, you're actually sitting between the both of them.

"We do have a wonderful app where you can do your banking but we also hold a whole suite of products that mean that you can have an entire banking relationship with us, whether your personal customer with your business customer."