Nationwide unleashes TV ad blitz

NationwideNationwide, the UK’s biggest building society, claims to be launching a “unique” television campaign that marries brand ads with product and direct-response TV spots, in a move to trump its bigger “plc” rivals.

Head of brand strategy Peter Gandolfi believes the mix is “unique” in UK financial services advertising and signals a change in strategy for the mutual.

Leagas Delaney brand spots, starring the Mark Benton bank manager character, will run alongside direct-response and home-insurance ad spots created by cchm:ping. The Benton character will appear in the cchm:ping spots, but to a lesser degree.

Gandolfi hopes the combination will build on the three-year-old brand campaign, but drive product sales, adding that although Benton has created brand awareness, the range and depth of Nationwide products is not known well enough.

“People think of mutuals as just current accounts, mortgages and loans,” he says, adding that Nationwide must dispel those myths by doing more to promote its insurance and credit-card products.

He denies the move is a prelude to axing Benton, or Leagas Delaney. He says that too many financial-services brands scrap marketing strategies too early, and few have been able to create the trust inspired by Nationwide’s brand spots.

Brand work will run across national TV, with the Anglia and Central regions showing the ads in a six-week burst from February. By comparing the results, Gandolfi hopes to develop a strategy that can be rolled out and amplified. The campaign will also run in press and online.

Media planning and buying is through Mediaedge:cia, and is currently up for pitch. The review for the building society’s £20m account is being overseen by the OysterCatchers. A result is due next month.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here