Banks have been busy rebranding themselves in post-recession Britain, but First Direct's approach is one of the more unusual we've seen. In a new campaign by JWT London, it's chosen a talking frilled lizard dubbed Little Frill as its mascot -- one who hates poor customer service and isn't afraid to say so. In the ad, we see him complaining vociferously about his incorrect pizza order, chasing the delivery guy down the street and bemoaning the fact that the pizza shop doesn't offer the sort of quality customer service offered by First Direct.
While British-accented talking lizards aren't a totally original idea (hello, Geico?), the ad's stylish use of black-and-white film, choice of music ("On a Ragga Tip" by SL2) and straight-talking attitude are different enough to position the bank as something a little out of the ordinary -- or as it says in its tagline, "unexpected."
The ad was directed by Dom & Nic of production company Outsider, while post-production house MPC helped to bring the lizard, and his housemate the Tarsier, to life with its CG skills. Comedian Sean Walsh provides his voice. Like several of the new crop that broke during this weekend's season premieres of "The X Factor" and "Downton Abbey" in the U.K., the spot prominently features a Twitter account for Little Frill.