NOT JUST ANY BANK by Lansons Communications for Metro Bank

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NOT JUST ANY BANK

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Industry Banking & Financial Services
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency Lansons Communications
Director Beverley Aujla
Released September 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best use of Broadcast
Advertiser: METRO BANK
Product/Service: INDEPENDENT UK BANK
Director: Beverley Aujla (Lansons Communications)
Account Director: Lisa Elliott (Lansons Communications)
Account Director: Sarah Harvey (Lansons Communications)
Account Manager: Lucy Willatt (Lansons Communications)
Account Executive: Rebecca Annable (Lansons Communications)
Media placement: Press Release - FSA Approval - European And UK National Consumer News, Broadcast, And Personal Finance Media - 5 March 2010
Media placement: Press Release - Broadcast Media Alert - European And UK National Consumer News, Broadcast, And Personal Finance Media - 25 March 2010
Media placement: Press Release - Launch - European And UK National Consumer News, Broadcast, And Personal Finance Media - 29 March 2010

Summary of the Campaign
When was the last time you saw a queue of TV and radio crews on a red carpet, without a celebrity in sight?

Metro Bank is the first new UK High Street bank in 100 years. It’s based on the successful US Commerce Bank model of unparalleled service and convenience around a retail model.
Our agency was briefed to launch the bank, with PR as the only communications driver. The challenge was to manage scrutiny and drive footfall.

- Broadcast was essential - the Metro Bank message had to reach a large target audience (Londoners). Customers needed to be at the store on launch day, so Metro Bank had to own the broadcast agenda on July 29 2010.
- The PR programme ensured customers came to open accounts; brand awareness amongst Londoners increased by 350% in July 2010 from 8% to 36% in October 2010 (YouGov research).
- The successful launch enabled Metro Bank to accelerate the store opening programme and raise a further £51 million at a 20% premium to the original share price in three months.
- 94 items of broadcast coverage was achieved from 1 March 2010 up to launch – with a further 135 pieces over the launch period.

The Situation
Metro Bank was to become the first new High Street Bank to open its doors in over 100 years and its unique ‘retailer of financial services’ proposition needed to be seen to be believed by its future customers, and unlike previous banking stories the media needed to be positively behind this bank.
Our brief was to create a broadcast buzz to bring the Metro Bank story to life.

The Goal
Pre-launch consumer insight was undertaken amongst Londoners, to ascertain what type of person had the propensity to switch to Metro Bank. This then informed our objectives, which were aligned to target these potential switchers ahead of launch.
Objectives:
• Create broadcast media ‘buzz’ in run up to launch
• Generate balanced coverage across prime time news programmes
• Ensure the unique proposition understood by influential broadcast journalists
• Ensure footfall on launch day amongst target audience
Criteria for success:
• Increasing brand awareness of Metro Bank
• Whether account opening targets were reached
• Key message penetration of media

The Strategy
To successfully navigate negative sentiment towards banks and unprecedented scrutiny of new entrants, we advised it was vital that Metro Bank: a) set the broadcast news agenda; b) shape broadcast media opinion directly; and c) leverage the significant appetite for change in the UK banking sector.

Phase 1 - preparation and planning
• Robust media preparation with a broadcast bias, message development and scenario planning to mitigate risks

Phase 2 – Building momentum pre / post FSA approval on 5 March 2010
• Engaging and building proactive relationships with key broadcast journalists to shape opinion early e.g. a Panorama special on the future of banking was pre-recorded ahead of launch
• Creating a media 'buzz' by delivering select Metro Bank stories

Phase 3 - Launch
• Generate customer awareness for the first High Street Bank to open its doors in over 100 years
• Shape media sentiment over launch period

Execution
Implementation of strategy in three phases:

Phase 1 – Robust media preparation
• Seven message and media workshops were run to perfect Metro Bank’s brand and corporate messages
• Early media training sessions were filmed; trainers assumed specific media identities to hone spokespeople for different broadcast styles

Phase 2 – Building momentum pre / post FSA approval
Engaging and building relationships with key broadcast journalists to shape opinion early:
• 20 broadcast media briefings for the chairman and/or co-founder between March 2010 and June 2010
• 2 exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ media tours of Metro Bank store then dinner with senior team

Creating a media ‘buzz‘ by drip feeding stories with key broadcast journalists e.g.:
• Exclusive interviews with co-founders
• Commenting on wider banking regulation issues

Phase 3 – Launch
• Leveraged mass broadcast media appetite for the story
• Managed mass broadcast media scrutiny over the launch period

Documented Results
Pre-launch – controlled buzz:
• 94 items of broadcast coverage, March 2010 – mid July (ahead of launch) including CNBC, Bloomberg, BBC 1 Panorama and ITV London regional news
• 45 items of broadcast coverage for authorisation of the FSA license application in March 2010

Launch period – mass broadcast coverage:
• 94% of broadcast coverage contained at least three key messages
• 23% featured senior executive team members
• 84% was positive/balanced in tone
• Only 16% contained negative messages
• 135 broadcast features generated
• Broadcast audience = 60 million
• AVE = £110 million
Outcomes
• 229 items of broadcast coverage from March 2010 to end of launch – 135 were specifically at launch
• Metro Bank’s annual account opening targets were met in month one
• Brand awareness amongst Londoners increased by 350%, from 8% in July 2010 to 36% in October 2010 (YouGov)