TSB runs first radio ads: 'We have the perfect radio brand but it hasn't been used before'

TSB's Henry the Dog creative running on TV

TSB has rolled out its first ever radio campaign, tapping into Global Radio’s Dax targeting platform with its distinctive audio brand to direct listeners to select local branches.

Pete Markey, who became the brand’s chief marketing officer in September after Nigel Gilbert retired, told The Drum: "I have always loved radio. Every brand I have worked with, it has always worked with me – More Than, through Post Office, through Aviva. Whether that is partnerships or advertising, it has always worked, particularly in amplifying TV."

The radio creative features TSB's memorable sonic branding that features in its TV spots, and asks listeners if they are missing out by not having a current account that pays interest. It outlines TSB's pledge to always pay interest on its current accounts.

The campaign was built upon research that found that more than half of TSB’s new customers come from areas within three miles of a branch. This showed there was an opportunity to talk to potential consumers near where TSB has branches.

This hyper-local approach was first tested in 2018 with out-of-home media. Markey, noting Global's significant OOH acquisitions, touted how hyper-local radio and billboards could soon interplay for "turbo" charged results. He revealed that the first test will target just under 10% of its 500 UK branches.

He added: "Radio has come of age. You can put the ads right where people are when they are walking near a branch or around an area."

This time around, TSB has built upon a content partnership with Heart/Global Radio for the TSB and Pride of Britain partnership last year to develop creative for the DAX digital radio platform. The work will run on Capital, Heart, Radio X, TuneIn, AudioBoom and SoundCloud, which recently joined the DAX network in the UK.

Elliot Parkus, client managing director running the account for Dentsu, told The Drum that the group has accrued evidence that radio does indeed drive footfall to physical locations.

He said of the drive: "We are testing local activity against more general creative. We are doing it so we can understand the impact that radio more broadly has on our business but more specifically how localising radio does too.

"Broadcast messages are important and the opportunity to be overheard is important, the more relevant you can make your messaging and targeting to people, the better. There are increasing ways to do that. Radio has always felt really personal, people have a relationship with their particular station, they have habits of listening to the same ones, at the same time, in the same way, five days a week and sometimes more."

Ollie Deane, director of commercial digital at Global, said: "TSB can identify audiences in the market for a savings account and serve an audio advert based on their proximity to a TSB branch.

"DAX’s geo location targeting enables TSB to test the effectiveness of different creative messaging such as naming the relevant local areas in the audio creative compared with more generic versions. Using a mixture of footfall measurement and DAX’s proprietary Listener Insight ID Dashboard, TSB can now identify how effective the different creative messages are at driving customers in store or to the TSB website. The Listener ID Dashboard from DAX will also give TSB actionable insights including the most effective time of day to target customers in the geo-targeted areas."

Back in October, the brand enlisted Keith Gulliver from Specsavers to lead its internal content arm. The move from the bank to invest in a production arm within its walls comes amid big brands such as Unilever pulling some agency work in-house as part of efficiency drives.

The bank was separated from Lloyds in 2013.

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