HBOS, the Halifax brand owner, is reviewing its advertising. This means that Howard, the current account man in the advertising from populist agency DLKW may be killed off. Drat, I hear you sing. The original ‘staff as stars’ campaign, winner of IPA effectiveness awards and many plaudits, came about as the Halifax Building Society, as it then was, looked for defensive strategies from unwanted takeovers from the marauding big banks. The campaign was a big hit, but didn’t prevent the bank from being taken over by the Bank of Scotland anyway.
Credit to them for keeping the work running, though, and plastering Howard (and the other two that nobody can remember who represent mortgages and insurance) just about everywhere. Unfortunately the global credit crunch is eating into the financial services sector, so important to the UK economy. Sustaining a marketing campaign strategy that depends on noticeable product differentiation (ie huge rate of interest, 30 year mortgages, whatever) in a market where these are harder and harder to find is obviously, not on, so good luck to the brand in finding something new to say.