DIRECTWATCH: Direct choice/Virgin One

As a brand spokesman, Richard Branson has lost only a little of his lustre. One of those rare commodities - a UK success story who routinely escapes criticism (well, unless you mention trains). Virgin One is Virgin’s latest foray into ’taking on the big boys’ and, as a product, it looks a sturdy proposition.

As a brand spokesman, Richard Branson has lost only a little of his

lustre. One of those rare commodities - a UK success story who routinely

escapes criticism (well, unless you mention trains). Virgin One is

Virgin’s latest foray into ’taking on the big boys’ and, as a product,

it looks a sturdy proposition.



Basically, Virgin One combines savings, loans, current accounts and

mortgages into one - the idea being that, with them all in the same

account, the overall amount borrowed decreases, so you benefit from

lower interest.



Inevitably, Branson dominates the mailing cover. ’You know me as

Richard, but let me be Frank,’ he says. The rosette with the name

’Frank’ on it is a bit cheesy, but he just about pulls it off. And when

Richard Branson tells you you’re being ripped off, you believe him.



The pack provides sufficient detail as an introduction to the

service.



The fact that it does this without going into reams of text is a credit

to its lucid, no-nonsense copy and genuinely refreshing tone. The

accompanying web site is also excellent - particularly the animated

cartoon-style explanation of how the product works.



Banks are usually appalling when it comes to targeting, but this

appealed to me immensely. I looked through each bit and I’m now

seriously thinking about applying. The weird thing is that I’ve now

become both the pack and the product’s biggest advocate. For a cold

prospect financial mailing, that must be a first.



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