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Industry Banking
Media Direct marketing
Market United Kingdom
Agency J. Walter Thompson London
Director Jon Hollis
Executive Creative Director Russell Ramsey
Creative Director Mike Mckenna, Greg Martin Iii, Graham Wood
Typographer Tivy Jones
Released September 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Direct Response Digital: Other Digital Platforms to Harness Direct Marketing
Advertiser: HSBC
Product/Service: FIRST DIRECT BANK
Agency: JWT
Date of First Appearance: Sep 28 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: JWT, London, UNITED KINGDOM
Entry URL:
Copywriter / Art Director: Naz Nazli (JWT)
Copywriter / Art Director: Rob Welch (JWT)
Creative Director: Greg Martin (JWT)
Creative Director: Mike McKenna (JWT)
Creative Director: Graham Wood (JWT)
Executive Creative Director: Russell Ramsey (JWT)
Group Account Director: Peter Knowland (JWT)
Account Manager: Jessica Russell-Flint (JWT)
Director: Jon Hollis (Nice Shirt Films)
Typographer: Tivy Jones (JWT)
Media placement: Tube Card Panels - London Underground - 05/10/2009
Media placement: Digital Escalator Panels - London Underground - 28/09/2009
Media placement: Cross-Tracks - London Underground & Westfield Spectacular - 28/09/2009
Media placement: LCD Screens - Westfield And London Underground - 05/10/2009
Media placement: Transvision - London Underground - 28/09/2009

Describe the brief/objective of the direct campaign.
First Direct has the highest customer satisfaction scores of all the UK banks - with customers readily talking about the brand online. At a time when customer confidence in banking was an at all time low, first direct needed to demonstrate to potential and existing customers, its commitment to providing outstanding and personal customer service. With a target audience of young professionals, who are attitudinally different, rejecting the principles of traditional banking, we knew a traditional brand campaign wouldn’t cut through. We created tell us what you’re thinking. A testimonial mixed media campaign embracing online conversations about first direct and inviting consumers to join the conversation.

Explain why the creative execution was relevant to the product or service.
The campaign served as a powerful customer testimonial campaign to recruit new customers, and encouraged existing customers to join in the conversation. By publishing positive and negative comments, the campaign fitted the brand attributes of being transparent, open and honest, as well as promoting the banks products and services. The initial campaign ran for 4 weeks with the copy changing everyday. The messages in the campaign highlighted First Directs service and products (offset Mortgage and current account).

Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective with reference to the projected response rates and desired outcome.
We launched a mircosite called Talking Point which asked customers to leave comments on specific themes and issues. The visualisations and customer comments from Talking Point and other online forums and blogs, were then used in advertising (online, digital formats in the London underground, as well as press). Please see A/V Presentation

Describe the results in as much detail as possible with particular reference to the RESPONSE of the target audience including deliverability statistics, response rates, click throughs, sales cost per response, relationships built and overall return on investment.
A 240% uplift in responses for current accounts Brand KPI’s: a. 10% increase in brand differentiation b. 14% increase in brand momentum c. 7% increase in current account consideration It is significant enough for first direct that they have embraced the campaign as an internal communication initiative, but it has also acted as a catalyst for them to review how they address social media as a business and embrace the conversation of their ‘crowd’ to make their service and products better. In a sector criticised for its lack of transparency, we were so confident in the brand’s values and delivery that we allowed the medium to become the message.