There’s more to a story than history 10 October 2016

Lloyds Bank has a current TV campaign in the UK where their black horse is shown galloping dreamily through situations from history: pulling a plough in the 17th Century, making a charge in the First World war and finally being ridden in the present day. The message is simple and clear – we have been around for a long time.

This beautifully shot, cinematic advert is a treat for the eyes – but just what is it telling us? How important is 250 years of banking history and more importantly – just what does that mean for us today? 

Just think about your own organisation for a moment and how you would structure a compelling message about reasons to do with business with you. You would be unlikely to only talk about your past. You might well start at the beginning and talk about how you have been around for 250 years but you’d probably quickly go on to explain the rest of the story. Would you break the cardinal rule about only talking about yourself – as this advert does? Probably not.

Contrast Lloyds’ approach with Yorkshire Building Societies TV advert – ‘Outgrown your home?’ Here we see a family living in what over time physically becomes an increasingly smaller home. It’s not a startling idea, but the language used here is all about us – not about the bank. This is a lender saying “We know how you feel…’ and more importantly it’s a lender saying we can help you, right now.

Lloyds Bank tells half a story but Yorkshire Building Society tells a full one. Their long suffering family go online and they are soon in a house that fits them. 

Lloyds Bank brings to life a logo but the Yorkshire Building Society brings to life a real experience that many of us can share. A perfect, character driven, fully formed story in just 30 seconds that’s far more compelling than a 250-year history.

Creating difference

At Living we help businesses to drive performance with strategic thinking, brand creation and cut-through messaging, we fuse these key elements together to create highly effective results.

If you would like to find out more, please contact Greg Hobden in London, Aliena Lai in Hong Kong, or Kate Shaw in New York.

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