Zenith – Halifax
Banks thrive on trust. Historically, trust was built by the bank’s physical presence at the heart of a community. However, widespread branch closures have been a key factor in the dramatic fall in trust for financial services over the past decade. The overriding feeling is that banks do not care about people or their town. This was the challenge Halifax faced. The bank has long been about community and people coming together. Modelling showed that improving perceptions around community and locality would improve Halifax’s core mortgage business.
Home is much more than four walls; it is also about the town you live in. So, in contrast to its competitors, Halifax decided to talk about the broader concept of community as home. The bank needed to talk specifically to the communities it was a part of.
With its established presence and prestigious reputation for those who feel pride in where they live, The Sunday Times’ ‘Best Places To Live’ supplement was the perfect platform for Halifax’s campaign.
However, the bank wanted to go beyond branded sponsorship; it wanted to improve both the Halifax brand and the ‘Best Places to Live’ supplement as a result of the partnership. With that in mind, it provided The Sunday Times with its House Price Index data, validating expert opinion with actual market performance.
In return, the Sunday Times gave Halifax early access to the supplement so it could create 50 hyper-local campaigns for shortlisted towns with a Halifax branch. The bank’s ‘It’s a People Thing’ tagline was adapted for each town — ‘It’s a Crouch End Thing’ was just one adaptation — and the ads ran across news brands, outdoor, radio, and local social.
Each shortlisted branch celebrated using the poster creative, making it hard for Halifax customers to miss that their town had been shortlisted as a ‘Best Place To Live’. Staff working in the branches of each of the 50 towns also made videos about their shortlisting. To get national exposure, the bank partnered with Channel 5 to talk about the top 10 finalists in a two-hour TV special, featuring the Halifax House Price Index. Halifax also worked across the News UK network to reference different shortlisted towns at appropriate moments.
This was the second year of Halifax’s ‘Best Places to Live’ sponsorship but the first time the bank’s campaign had featured such a locally targeted focus into the shortlisted towns. In the first month alone, agreement that Halifax ‘is a brand for people like me’ increased significantly. What is more, after two months, the shift in brand measures had already paid back more than the cost of the partnership.