NatWest launched a new phase of advertising this week by introducing the
Cannings, an extended family which it hopes to use in its TV spots for
at least the next five years.
Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Motive have been given a pounds 10 million
media budget for the rest of the year. The campaign will extend into the
autumn with three executions - for mortgages, insurance and small
businesses - that will each run for a month.
The campaign, which has been in development for six months, was created
by BBH’s joint creative directors, Graham Watson and Bruce Crouch, who
art directed and wrote the ad, respectively. It was directed by Simon
Cheek through Spirit Films.
Black-and-white teaser ads have introduced the family over the past
week. The first full-colour execution, which is for mortgages, shows the
family moving out of town to set up home in the countryside. The
Cannings are expected to experience further upheavals over the next few
Ian Schoolar, head of brand communications at NatWest, said: ‘The ads
all feature small, unexpected human touches that will live in the memory
and break through the automatic filters that people put up when faced
with ads for financial institutions.’
He admitted that NatWest’s last major campaign from 1991 to 1994, which
ran with the line, ‘we’re here to make life easier’, lacked a certain
credibility. ‘It is very difficult to get people to believe in financial
advertising. If there is too much gloss, people will find it irrelevant,
and too much branding detracts from reality,’ he added.
Schoolar said that, for this reason, the casting of the ad, which stars
the TV actors, Gary Olsen and Samantha Beckinsale, as the father and
mother, was particularly important.