ADWATCH: Abbey targets rival account holders with 'trade in' ads

In its most recent TV spot, Abbey National attempts to lure consumers with a fun message, says Sam Solley.

Abbey National has replaced comedian Alan Davies in its latest ad campaign promoting its 'trade in' deal.

The TV spot, created by Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper aims to help Abbey National become the leading retailer of financial services in the UK and lure new customers to the bank. The strategy behind the campaign is to use members of the public rather than professional actors in a bid to to reflect real life.

The ad, at number six in this week's Adwatch table with a recall of 54%, takes a humorous look at a couple's visit to a car showroom.

The husband allows the showroom door to slam in his long-suffering wife's face. This leads the wife to fantasise about trading her husband in for a new model. She imagines a showroom full of alternative husbands, and asks to test drive a new one.

The old husband is left on the forecourt with a 'one previous owner' sign around his neck, while a couple of grannies kick at his feet to test his quality.

A voiceover during the ad encourages us to 'trade in everything we're not happy with' and offers £50 if Abbey National cannot beat your current in-credit interest rate. The ad ends with the strapline 'Because life's complicated enough'.

Abbey National rebranded itself in March 2002 focusing its business on its product and services in an attempt to position itself as a friendly, approachable financial institution. This ad is its next step in that strategy.

Adam Kennedy, account director at Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper says: "Abbey National is keen to be seen to be doing something fresh and different in the financial services sector and extending the 'Life would be less complicated if' campaign is a way of doing this. You can make financial propositions come to life through fun and entertaining advertising."

Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper retained the account in September 2001 following a repitch for the £14m business. It has now held it for eight years.

Media was planned and bought by Carat, and KLP handled in-store promotional work.

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