Campaign details

Brand: Nationwide Building Society
Advertiser: Nationwide Building Society
Agency: VCCP; Wavemaker London


This is the story about how communications has helped a building society become a leader in the traditionally bank-dominated current account switching market.

It is a story that hinges on two pivotal moments for the brand.

First, when it stopped trying to sell current accounts by talking rationally about them and realised that advertising works hardest when it seeks to create an emotional response. And then when it set out to compete even more effectively with the banks by more consciously setting itself apart from them. A journey from common practice to best practice to unique practice.

This is the story of how Nationwide found its distinctive voice in the category.

To begin at the beginning

Once upon a time, the nation's high streets were populated with two very different types of retail financial institution. The banks dealt mainly with day-to-day deposits, payments and loans. They depended on outside money for funding and were owned by and run for external shareholders.