How Nationwide found its voice and the difference that made

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2018

Nationwide had a small share of the declining market in current account switchers. A shift from rational to more emotional advertising produced a temporary improvement. But it took the radical ‘Voices’ strategy, featuring TV poetry ads and a more individual tone across media, to set Nationwide apart from other banking brands. Following this activity, brand differentiation, trust and affinity all rose. Advertising drove an estimated 63k switched accounts and 242k new account openings. Total value created for Nationwide members was modelled at £2.66 for every £1 invested.

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Writing the paper has a number of positive effects that we continue to benefit from long after the paper was submitted. Firstly, we now have better relationships and processes in place to get hold of business performance data to the granularity required for judging marketing effectiveness. The data has often been held across various parts of the business so it proved hard to get everything we needed together in one place. Secondly, in pulling together the paper the agency now has a deeper understanding of how our specific business works. We are not a PLC seeking to maximise shareholder value but a mutual seeking to create value for our members. And finally, the paper has been invaluable in educating our non-marketing colleagues about how our advertising works for us. Specifically, in making the hard commercial case for things that can sound soft and fluffy: emotion, image, difference & distinctiveness. The insights developed in our paper have been shared with the CEO and Executive Committee. From here, there are a few steps we are taking to further embed effectiveness further into our culture including implementing mode detailed econometric models and integrating them more into our comms planning.

Paul Hibbs, Director of Advertising & Media, Nationwide
Nationwide Building Society

Winners 2018

Silver Winner


How Nationwide found its voice and the difference that made


Nationwide Building Society


Nationwide Building Society


Wavemaker London

Principal Authors

  • Gethin James - VCCP

Contributing Authors

  • Richard Bradford - Wavemaker
  • Neil Holloway - Nationwide Building Society
  • Paul Hibbs - Nationwide Building Society

Credited Companies

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