TBWA Simons Palmer has been appointed to launch Virgin One, the
banking operation from Richard Branson’s financial services empire,
Virgin One opens its service to existing Virgin Direct customers on 1
November, but the pounds 6 million advertising campaign will not kick
off until the bank opens to the general public early next year.
So far, only direct marketing has been used to contact customers about
the operation, which will show an account-holder’s mortgage debt on
every bank statement.
The appointment has been squared with TBWA’s existing financial services
clients, Axa and Goldfish, which are both planning to extend their
offerings to customers in the coming months.
Tony Wood, the marketing director of Virgin Direct, refused to disclose
the budget for Virgin One’s launch, but admitted it would be
’substantial’ and confirmed pounds 10 million had been earmarked for
advertising its Peps, insurance and pensions products over the coming
’TBWA has been on board for the past three months and there was no
question that the agency should launch Virgin One,’ Wood said.
The client and agency are working on a launch strategy with Manning
Gottlieb Media. It has not yet been decided whether to streamline the
bank’s advertising with Virgin Direct’s existing work or to create a
wholly separate launch campaign.
’The bank’s advertising will be consistent with the existing campaign,’
Kevin May, the director in charge of Virgin Direct at TBWA, said. ’It is
not going to be a whisper. It will be a prominent campaign as befits the
revolutionary nature of the product.’