Nationwide campaign stars Little Britain characters

Nationwide is launching a campaign featuring characters from comedy sketch show Little Britain. The activity aims to distance the building society from high street rivals by highlighting its mutual status.

The television, print, outdoor and digital activity breaks 16 May and stars Matt Lucas and David Walliams as Lou and Andy, Vicki Pollard and the Victorian Ladies.

It sees the return of the strapline “Nationwide. Proud to be different”, which was dropped two years ago in favour of “Proud to be a building society”.

One of the three TV spots sees Vicky Pollard attempting to buy chips in a Nationwide branch. Staff explain to the bemused Pollard that they do not sell chips but can focus on customers because they do not have to answer to shareholders.

The campaign sees Nationwide return to TV for the first time in almost three years. Its last TV activity featured the bank manager character played by comic actor Mark Benton.

Another spot stars the Lou and Andy characters alongside England manager Fabio Capello and England players Theo Walcott, Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch.Nationwide is currently England team sponsor. However, its current deal expires next month and the Football Association is said to be talking with other potential backers.

The building society’s last major campaign attempted to distance itself from the banks that were hit by the global financial crisis because of their risky investments by making a virtue of the fact that it was “safe”, “sensible” and perhaps even “boring”.

James Boulton, divisional director of customer strategy and marketing, an ex HSBC marketing director that joined Nationwide in July, says the ads aim to demonstrate how its mutual model “makes us very different”.

The campaign was created by Leagas Delaney with media planning and buying handled by MPG Media Contacts.

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