Campaign of the Week: Halifax

Article excerpt

The Account

Client: Halifax

Commercial director: David Garfath

Agency: Bates Dorland

Creative team: Andy Ward (art director), James von Leyden (copywriter), Paul Walter (creative director)

Budget: [pounds]4m

Media: National TV

Target: Halifax's 20 million customers

The Brief

Over the past few years, a building society pass book has come to be seen in pretty much the same light as a lottery ticket.

Is it a share account? How big will the windfall be? And how can you predict which bank or building society will be next to make the transition?

The financial institutions deny that customer loyalty has declined, but there are certainly examples of people cashing in and moving on, in a permanent quest for the next windfall. It is no coincidence that Halifax (formerly the Halifax Building Society) has chosen to directly target its customers and remind them of the benefits of being part of the Halifax 'family'.

In June, Halifax became a top-ten quoted FTSE, with more personal customers than any other building society or bank. But even though many of those 20 million customers had become shareholders, Halifax was concerned that the conversion should not undermine the 'building society' values of friendliness, security, integrity and expertise.

Its advertising is normally designed to reassure existing customers and recruit new ones - but this campaign explicitly targets existing customers with the aim of persuading them to stick with the Halifax for both current and future financial purchases.

Keen to promote its changing status as one of evolution, Halifax turned to its ad agency of ten years, Bates Dorland, and to the campaign which has become synonymous with Halifax over the past six years. There have been five 'people' commercials, each showing hundreds of people coming together to form a living sculpture. Could an established theme - paradoxically - be used to express change?

The Campaign

The 60-second, all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza, shows 200 people coming together to build a Halifax branch. …