It’s always nice to see an agency holding on to a big account, as WCRS has with Santander after the Spanish banking giant initiated a review, but not if it means yet more gung-ho advertising featuring diminutive racing driver Lewis Hamilton.
I suppose this is what integrated marketing means, plugging the firm’s expensive Formula One sponsorship in every available way, and no doubt it scores well in research. Vodafone tried the same strategy, to mixed effect.
Events have rather turned out Santander and WCRS’s way with the plucky Hamilton in his McLaren clenching his teeth on the tail of the Red Bull team which has, at various times, looked like running away with the championship.
Imagine the embarrassment if he had performed like former world champion Michael Schumacher whose much-trumpeted comeback for Mercedes has been a damp squib.
We’re unlikely to see the back of Hamilton just yet, doubtless to the chagrin of the WCRS creative department if not the agency’s managers, as Santander is planning a £3bn share issue in the UK to pay for the 318 bank branches it hopes to buy from Royal Bank of Scotland. Hamilton is the obvious figurehead to use if this issue includes the offer of shares to the wider public.
But, as advertising, it’s dire stuff.