TSB returns to TV after IT breakdown with FOMO ad

New campaign encourages account switching by appealing to 'fear of missing out'.

TSB returns to TV after IT breakdown with FOMO ad

TSB is set to launch its first brand campaign since the IT disaster this year that left up to 1.9 million of its customers unable to access their accounts. The fiasco led to the resignation in September of former chief executive Paul Pester.

The new campaign "Missing out", created by Joint, promotes TSB’s payment of interest to all current account customers, with no monthly fee and no change in terms after a year – an offer that chief marketing officer Pete Markey said was unique in the UK. While this has been mentioned in previous campaigns, this time it is the sole focus.

The TV ad, which airs from 27 December, was directed by Steve Small through Studio AKA, and features the character of Henry the Dog, who has also appeared in previous TSB spots. The media agency is Dentsu Aegis Network.

Despite the negative publicity this year, Markey – who was promoted to CMO in August, following Nigel Gilbert’s retirement – said the bank had weathered the storm and not suffered especially severe damage.

However, he acknowledged: "When you go through a challenge like that, brand metrics are affected. Coverage on social media, net promoter score, non-customer consideration: they are challenged. What’s been great in the last few months is that we’ve seen those measures recover."

TSB’s customer retention levels had held up well "in the scheme of things", Markey claimed. "We’ve still had a good flow of customers joining us even through the more challenging period."

He added that the brand has done "more work to measure sentiment than ever before" and that "customers and non-customers are saying they want us to be back".

In its campaign from January 2018, TSB positioned itself in opposition to the big establishment banks by depicting them as literal fat cats that did nothing for their customers. But unlike the other challenger brands bidding to win customers from the big banks – such as Monzo, Starling and Atom – TSB dates back more than 200 years.

As an "established challenger", Markey said, TSB’s advantage was its branch network. "What we’ve learned from the IT change is how important our branches are," he added. "We know there’s still a customer need and demand for branches – our plan is to use them as an asset of the business. The strength of our brand is people see us a business where people and relationships really matter."

While it may be a while before TSB is widely volunteered as an example of a company with great IT, Markey insisted the pain had been worth it. "We’ve got systems our competitors would be envious of – we’re off the old platform onto a new one. Our NPS on our mobile app is in a stronger position than we were before we migrated."

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