Bank of Antandec is up and running and represents a radical brand re-positioning by Santander UK. The Bank of Antandec represents a play on the name Santander. At the heart of a TV ad campaign are TV stars Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly.
Celebrity brand ambassadors are a regular feature of Santander UK’s marketing.
For instance, golfer Rory McIlroy, racing driver Jenson Button and Olympian Jessica Ennis featured in ads promoting the 123 account.
Moreover, Santander brand ambassador Lewis Hamilton unveiled the first re branded Santander (formerly Abbey National) branch back in 2010.
But Santander’s Bank of Antandec ad creative represents more than a move from sports stars to TV celebrities.
At the heart of the new campaign – the ads debut on 3 June – is a serious message. The ads aim to show Santander helps customers realise their aspirations, in a light-hearted and engaging way.
In particular, the Ant and Dec ad creative represents a move away from talking about prosperity.
Bank of Antandec: see what is possible
That means that the message ‘Here to help you prosper’ is out.
In its place comes the message ‘See what is possible’.
The ad shows McPartlin and Declan Donnelly setting up their own bank. In particular, the TV celebrities plan to open Antandec coffee shops in their branches.
For example, Dec says if you bought five less coffees a week, you could take two years off your mortgage. Their solution? Smaller coffees. You pay a fraction of the price, because the coffee’s a fraction of the size.
The ad is crafted by the agency Engine.
New brand messaging
The re-crafted Santander brand positioning is also being heavily promoted on social media.
And Santander UK CEO Nathan Bostock has been led a number of road shows across the UK, getting the message over that the bank has a new brand messaging.
There was a time when Santander regularly performed poorly in UK retail banking customer satisfaction tables. For example, the JD Power survey named Santander as the worst-performing UK bank each year from 2007 to 2010.
Fast forward to 2019 and Santander not only has a stronger brand and improved net promoter scores.
Santander now ranks in the top half of the Competition and Markets Authority survey ranking UK banking service quality.
On the other hand, it will need more than witty TV ads for Santander to close the gap on CMA survey leaders Metro Bank and first direct.