Nationwide revives Little Britain characters for TV push

LONDON - Building society Nationwide is launching its first TV campaign for nearly three years, starring characters from popular BBC comedy 'Little Britain'.

Actors Matt Lucas and David Walliams star as well-known characters such as Lou and Andy the Victorian 'ladies', and Vicky Pollard, interacting with Nationwide branch staff.

The ads, by incumbent agency Leagas Delaney, are voiced by the show's narrator Tom Baker, break on Sunday and will be supported with print, outdoor, digital and in-branch activity.

The comedic campaign, the first to be overseen by Nationwide's divisional director of customer strategy and marketing, James Boulton, also sees the return of the brand's previous strapline 'Proud to be different', which was dropped in 2008 after six years in favour of 'Proud to be a building society'.

In one of the TV executions, Bristolian teenager Vicky Pollard enters a branch asking for chips, and in reply the Nationwide employee explains the benefits of banking with a building society with no shareholders to pay dividends to. Meanwhile, Victorian 'ladies' Emily and Florence speak to a branch worker about Nationwide's Champion Saver account.

The final TV ad supports Nationwide's long-running sponsorship of the England football team, ahead of the start of the World Cup next month.

Lou and Andy are shown watching England footballers Theo Walcott, Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch, plus manager Fabio Capello, before wheelchair-bound Andy leaps up and dribbles round the players.

"The new TV ads are iconic, full of humour, and are a natural foil for the common sense approach Nationwide has to financial services," said Boulton. "These ads are further evidence of our commitment to showing how our mutual model, combined with great service, and a commitment to long-term value for our members, makes us very different."

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