TBWA's Virgin One work overturns conventions

Virgin One, the current account mortgage provider, is launching a pounds 4 million campaign through TBWA/London that asks consumers to take a new look at the way they manage their money.

Virgin One, the current account mortgage provider, is launching a pounds 4 million campaign through TBWA/London that asks consumers to take a new look at the way they manage their money.

The push, which includes TV, press and poster executions, aims to appeal to 'free-thinkers' through ads that are closer to campaigns for The Guardian or The Independent than traditional mortgage advertising.

A TV ad, called 'smart kid', which will run in 60- and 50-second versions from 15 January, consists of a series of vignettes that, at first glance, appear self-explanatory. A man is harassed by a group of angry-looking hooligans, a black girl holds the bridle of a horse as a young, white man sits for a portrait, a man embraces a blonde girl in a crowded auditorium and a child stares disinterestedly through a classroom window.

However, labels are slowly superimposed on each scene indicating that all is not as it seems. Hence, an impassive man at the back of the hooligan group is 'the one to watch out for'. The black girl is revealed as 'the boss' while the white boy is 'the servant'. The blonde girl and a dark-haired woman at the edge of the shot are 'the lovers'.

Finally, the bored child is the classroom's 'smart kid'.

The ad closes with the endline: 'You could be better off if you look at things differently', followed by: 'Virgin One - Uncommon Sense.'

Andrew Nicholson, Virgin One's head of advertising, said: 'This is a rallying cry for looking beyond the commonly accepted view and not accepting conventional wisdom. People need to look at things differently to make the most of their money. This campaign provides a powerful analogy for the traditional world of banking and all that is wrong with it.'

The ads were written by Alasdair Graham, art directed by Frazer Jelleyman and directed by Dominic Murphy at Blink. Media planning and buying is by Manning Gottlieb Media.



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