First Direct Promo, Case study BUDDY by Mind's Eye, Minds Eye Media


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Industry Banking & Financial Services
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency Mind's Eye
Agency Minds Eye Media
Director Ben Taylor
Creative Ben Taylor, Hughie Phillips
Producer Hughie Phillips
Released October 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Branded Content
Advertiser: FIRST DIRECT
Date of First Appearance: Oct 13 2010
Entrant Company: MINDSHARE, London, UNITED KINGDOM
Client Director: David Walsh (Mindshare)
Business Director: Mike Harland (Mindshare)
Business Director: Mark Holden (Mindshare)
Account Executive: Clare Webb (Mindshare)
Account Executive: Roziana WanRamli (Mindshare)
Account Executive: Aysha Awwad (Mindshare)
Producer/Creative: Hughie Phillips (Mind's Eye Media)
Director/Creative: Ben Taylor (Mind's Eye Media)
Media placement: Buddy Viral Seeding - Online - 6 October 2010
Media placement: Blogger Outreach - Online - 13 October 2010
Media placement: Buddy Google Text Ads - Google - 14 October 2010
Media placement: Content Seeding Activity - Online - 15 October 2010

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Twenty-one years after exploding onto the scene, first direct is still winning awards for customer service - but in a radically changed banking landscape, where all banks compete frantically to advertise service propositions to restore trust, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to achieve differentiation.

Our challenge was to demonstrate first direct’s uniqueness – its ‘going-above-and-beyond-ness’ and sense of humour - to the financially confident, discerning and open-minded ABC1s from London and the Southeast that formed our audience.

We resolved to create a content-driven social media campaign that rejected the faceless reassurances of the banking sector and cut straight to the heart of first direct. We’d organise stunts, create masses of content and seed it in the right places – places where our audience can engage with it and – vitally – pass it on.

We took first direct’s human customer service ethos to the extreme: and the Buddy service was born.

Creative Execution
The first direct Buddies are highly trained individuals offering customers the ultimate, 24/7 concierge-style service. Customers can, via location-based technology on their smartphones, hire first direct Buddies to assist them with anything – carry their shopping, change their tyre, or conduct their marriage ceremony.

This spoof customer service proposition - absolutely deadpan – became the hook for live stunts, masses of video content and a YouTube hub. The team wrote and produced all content and used a bespoke and highly-targeted seeding plan to deliver paid-for views amongst our target audience – also generating organic growth. We sought editorial placements - so Buddy was viewed as content rather than advertising - and recruited online brand ambassadors and super-users across all social platforms to drive engagement and talkability. The charm of the content and method of dissemination perfectly synced with first direct’s brand values and demonstrated its ‘unbankness’ in the banking sector.

Results and Effectiveness
Challenge: highlight first direct’s difference from the rest of the sector.

89% of post-campaign survey respondents agreed that this campaign was different to other financial advertising (source: Millward Brown).

Challenge: get Buddy content watched, generate talkability and encourage sharing.

Featured on the YouTube homepage, the Buddy film has had 240,263 YouTube organic views, over-delivering targets by 22%. Cumulatively, across platforms, the film has 525,074 views and rising. On YouTube alone, total views for all of the Buddy content are 401,081.

39% of viewers said they would talk about the content with friends (source: Millward Brown).