To highlight its re-launch as an independent bank, British high street bank TSB underlines its credentials as a bank with local, community heritage, in a 30-million-pound campaign that kicks off with this animated film by Joint. Narrated by Patrick Stewart (aka Professor X of X-Men, Captain Picard of Star Trek, among other roles) the spot tells the story of TSB's founding in 1810 by the Reverend Henry Duncan, when it was known as the Trustee Savings Bank and ends with the strapline "Welcome back to local banking."
The film, directed a co-written by StudioAKA's Marc Craste, combines old school and new school animation techniques in the form of hand-drawn line animation and CG--which were meant to speak to the spot's underlying message. "What we were going for with the short film was to explain the true story behind the bank in a way that reflected the bank's heritage and modernity," explained Joint CD Damon Collins.
As for the narration by Patrick Stewart, "Interestingly, when we asked him to do it, at first he said no," said Mr. Collins. "He didn't want to be associated with a bank. The CEO, Paul Pester, really wanted him to do it so he wrote to him personally. He outlined his vision for the bank, how it differed from all other banks in its model and how he believed that TSB could make a real difference to the lives of British people. Sir Patrick wanted to help Paul do that and agreed to help."
With its relaunch, TSB intends to promote itself as a "clean" bank, free from issues such as toxic debt which have haunted other banking brands, and more trustworthy than rivals such as RBS. The feel-good animation and wholesome, back-to-the-roots message can't help but inspire comparisons to Chipotle's celebrated "Back to the Start" film, which showcased sustainable farming. Outside of the animated film, social media activity will use the hashtag #HelloTSB, which will also feature in outdoor and print work.
TSB was a well known advertiser in the '80s with a campaign promoting it as "the bank that likes to say yes," but the brand disappeared from the high street following its takeover by Lloyds, which became Lloyds TSB--which later dropped TSB name. However, European regulators now require it to separate TSB from Lloyds Banking Group, following the collapse of its proposed sale to The Co-operative Bank in April.