Nationwide’s ‘Mortgage Number One’ from VCCP is a compelling history lesson

Nationwide’s ‘poets’ campaign from VCCP has divided opinion somewhat but its latest manifestation – ‘Mortgage Number One’ – pulls it all together in admirable style.

It features Alfred and Elizabeth Idle who were helped to buy their modest home by the Nationwide back in 1884. Written and performed by Jo Bell.

Nationwide is a building society (a mutual organisation) of course. Back in the day these mostly local outfits were the main providers of mortgages until the Thatcher era ‘Big Bang’ brought the big banks into the market, not always happily. These days you get a mortgage if you tick the right computer boxes, if you don’t you don’t.

Bank advertising , as we’ve often noted is usually pretty meaningless because they don’t offer anything. One who did, TSB, is teetering on the brink because its Spanish owner’s IT system doesn’t work. Why was this supposedly “challenger” bank, spun off from Lloyds, sold to these Iberian basket cases?

So well done Nationwide and credit to VCCP too for producing that rarest of phenomena, a campaign.

MAA creative scale: 8.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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