£1.4m First Direct TV campaign hits nation's screens

A national TV campaign for 24-hour bank, First Direct has rolled out, created by Story.

The brand last advertised on TV in February 2009 and tasked Story to create a campaign to highlight the ‘human’ experience offered by the brand to its customers 24-hours-a-day, as well as the brand’s 21st anniversary.

The ‘Chatterbox’ campaign features Michelle Green, a real staff member, beginning with her portrayed as a child in a classroom in 1989 and moving onto present day.

Comedian, Arthur Smith voices the commercial and explains that, “21 years ago we opened – and haven’t shut up since.” He goes on to explain that at First Direct there are, “no menus, just real people chatting 24/7”.

Shot in black and white to reflect the First Direct brand, the ad was written by Story, directed by Trevor Melvin and produced by Alex Heathcote through RSA Films.

The media spend is £1.4m and the ad will be shown across terrestrial, satellite and on demand channels.

Natalie Cowen, head of brand at First Direct, said: “One of the reasons we have the most satisfied customers in banking is that we don’t believe in phone menus and queues. Story captured the essence of our personality beautifully in this film which demonstrates in a very emotive and compelling way that we employ spontaneous people who genuinely enjoy talking to customers.”

Dave Mullen, creative director, said: "The best ads have a brand truth. Conversations are at the heart of First Direct and that's what we convey in this ad. Having worked with First Direct for over a decade now it’s a brand we know well and we appreciate first hand the chatty, spontaneous and helpful nature of people who work there. We put a number of scripts into research and Chatterbox by far and away came out on top. Managing over half a dozen kids on the day was a handful but it was great fun to shoot and despite having no acting experience, Michelle from First Direct was a natural – which after all was the message we wanted to get across."

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