What do you think?

Santander’s most recent marketing campaign sees them pair with TV duo Ant & Dec, but does the partnership reflect the brand?

The Campaign

The campaign sees the pair ‘rip off’ Santander’s branding and values, to create their own bank ‘Antanddec.’ Placed on TV, cinema, OOH, print, social, digital display and radio, the campaign has been created by Engine, directed by Declan Lowney at Another Film Company, has been planned by Carat.


Why Ant & Dec?

Chief Creative Officer for Engine, Billy Faithfull, said “When it’s thrown into conversation that Ant & Dec sounds a bit like Santander you can’t ignore that, it’s an absolute gift.”

“It was one of those ideas that you keep parking for good reason, but keeps coming back, more powerful than before. And the more we let it back in the room, the more funny, famous and memorable it became. Nothing else stood a chance.”

The campaign will utilise the bank’s comprehensive research into its customers to help bring to life the products and services that answer genuine customer needs. While using the comical bank of ‘Antandec’ and its less practical product solutions, as a counterpoint.

Research has also shown that “ads that use creativity in the form of brand characters or motifs are better at eliciting an emotional response and boosting brand recognition.”

But, do these reasons mean that it works?

Does it work?

Billy Faithfull, chief creative officer, Engine, added: “In the search for a little magic, you have to give every idea a chance to shine. Even the silliest of ideas should be taken seriously.”

But is Santander a ‘silly’ brand, and considering it’s products, should it want to be considered as such? On the other hand, does financial marketing need to be bland and serious?

Finding a balance

Digital bank, Monzo, recently begun their first major marketing push, and we think their campaign manages to find a good balance between being humorous and light-hearted, while still being informational.

At 30 seconds long, we learn that Monzo can;

  1. Make our holiday money easier (no more notes!)
  2. You can talk to a real person 24/7
  3. You can use their app to set up a ‘Savings Pot’

Monzo’s other videos follow the same theme, and we feel like the balance works. They come across as fun, easy to use, yet still trustworthy.

But, when you compare that example to the Santander advert, the balance is less clear.

The advert is 90 seconds long (a whole minute longer than Monzo’s) and yet only 7 seconds of that are about Santander, and what they do.

From Santander’s advert, we learn that;

  1. Ant & Dec have always wanted to go into banking (?)
  2. They’re going to send out bricks (??)
  3. Buy less coffee, have a shorter mortgage (???)
  4. Santander have a service called a ‘Mortgage Over-payment Calculator’

The balance between humour and information is way off, and the most important feature, is left as an after-thought. We’re not even told how to get more information about it (online, in branch, telephone…)

Monzo shows that banks can find the balance; an advert which is informational without being stuffy or boring. But for Santander, it feels as though they’ve gone too far in the wrong direction.

Perhaps Santander’s campaign would have worked better a few years ago. Recently, Ant & Dec’s ‘nation’s sweethearts’ image has been tarnished by Ant’s drunk driving conviction and stories that the duo almost split.

What do you think about Santander’s latest campaign?

Sources: https://www.moreaboutadvertising.com/2019/06/ant-and-dec-launch-their-own-bank-in-santanders-mockumentary-ad-campaign/ , https://www.mortgageintroducer.com/ant-dec-brand-ambassadors-santander-uk/#.XQojlBZKjIU , https://themediaangel.co.uk/2018/10/15/study-links-long-term-growth-to-brand-characters/ , https://www.marketingweek.com/2019/03/20/monzo-first-ad-campaign/ , https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/apr/16/ant-mcpartlin-pleads-guilty-drink-driving , https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/entertainment/a25987106/ant-mcpartlin-declan-donnelly-anger-drink-driving-arrest/

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