Wunderman Thompson scoops First Direct business

FirstDirectOOH4_1Wunderman Thompson has strengthened its grip on the HSBC Group account after landing the First Direct account with a brief to devise a new brand positioning as well as a major advertising and marketing campaign.

The agency succeeds The Brooklyn Brothers, which was appointed in 2019 to overhaul First Direct’s brand marketing; its first work will launch next year.

HSBC consolidated its global advertising account with WPP as “lead agency group partner” last year although Publicis Groupe, which shared some of the business with WPP, continues to work on creative for the bank on a project basis.

Wunderman Thompson, which had previously shared the duties with Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi, has created a series of campaigns for the HSBC, including “Borders” starring Richard Ayoade.

First Direct head of marketing James Davies said: “I’d like to thank The Brooklyn Brothers for their partnership with First Direct over the past two years. From launching ‘Money wellness’ in January 2020, through to our current campaign showcasing our leadership on customer service, The Brooklyn Brothers team have always shared a passion for our customers.

“As we look to the future, we’re excited to be working with Wunderman Thompson to develop a new brand platform that will resonate with our most loyal, longstanding customers as well as new audiences who have not heard of First Direct, driving customer growth, employee engagement and recruitment.”

Wunderman Thompson UK executive creative director Tom Drew commented: “We’re beyond pleased to have the opportunity to breathe new life into First Direct – such a distinctive brand, and the original challenger brand in the sector.”

Formed in 1989 by Midland Bank, it became a part of HSBC in June 1992, when that business acquired Midland. It has headquarters in Leeds and around 1.5 million customers.

The online and telephone-only bank regularly tops the rankings for service quality and has won more awards for its services than any other UK bank. Moneywise has named it the UK’s most trusted bank, while in 2019, it was named No 1 for customer experience by Kantar and No 1 for customer satisfaction by Which? It also tops the Competition & Markets Authority’s charts for overall service quality.

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