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Leo Burnett London Goes Guerrilla Gardening for New Co-op Bank Film

Leo Burnett London, 7 months ago

John Dower directs docu-short for agency's 'It's Good to be Different' campaign

Leo Burnett London Goes Guerrilla Gardening for New Co-op Bank Film

The Co-operative Bank will air its new TV ad on ITV1 at 7:45pm on Wednesday 2nd March marking the launch of its new campaign ‘It’s good to be different’, created by Leo Burnett London.   

The bank is refreshing its brand with a new look and feel that is modern, distinctive and bold. These principles of difference are brought together to celebrate real people who are different and who do things differently in a positive way, as well as promoting the bank’s new Everyday Rewards current account incentive.

In the last year the bank has been developing products and services in line with its expanded ethical policy, the latest of which is ‘Everyday Rewards’; a scheme available to new and existing current account customers.  Opting in to Everyday Rewards and meeting the criteria* could see customers earn up to £5.50 every month. This campaign promotes Everyday Rewards, which shows how the Bank is doing things differently in a positive way, as well as identifying real people who share this ethos and telling their stories. 

The new TV ad introduces Richard, a father and husband living in Elephant and Castle who has a passion for gardening which he channels to make a difference for his family and community – by transforming dull and lifeless parts of the area. 

The 30 second ad starts with Richard looking out of his window as he talks about how he sees the ‘grim landscape as a blank canvas’. The story then moves on to show how Richard transforms an ‘adopted’ piece of land and the difference he makes with his time, effort and enthusiasm – along with the impact upon the community through the reaction of others involved and passing by.

Alastair Pegg, Marketing Director at The Co-operative Bank says: “We know our customers see us as a different sort of bank and, from listening to both them and those who might be interested in joining us, it’s clear we have an opportunity to highlight the values and ethics which distinguish us to a wider audience on an everyday basis.

“This new approach allows us to stand out with a vibrant and distinct slant, we know that our customers expect a high standard from us and we are rising to that challenge.

“The campaign celebrates real people who are different and who do things differently in a positive way. Richard is a customer of ours and really embodies that it’s good to be different.”

Beri Cheetham, Executive Creative Director on the campaign at Leo Burnett commented: "This was an opportunity to create something different and to be the antithesis to what a bank would normally do. First we searched for people who do things differently to benefit those in their local communities. Then, completely unscripted, we let the cameras roll so they could tell their stories. The result is something that is authentic and sincere."

John Dower, Director at Pulse said: "As a commercials director with a documentary background I'm very aware of all the great 'real' people out there but it's rare for a brand to feature them in their spots. The beauty of this campaign is that we were looking for characters who reflect a bank who really do things differently. The challenge was to find individuals who aren't different just for the sake of it, self-styled eccentrics, but those who genuinely want to make a difference. A person such as Richard, our guerrilla gardener, is just that."

Richard Reynolds, Guerrilla Gardener who featured in the campaign commented: “It's been great to have the support of the Co-op Bank to spread the word about guerrilla gardening, to make people feel good about getting things done a bit unconventionally. I've had many approaches over the years by brands looking to associate with guerrilla gardening, but few have appreciated our positive ethos in the way the team working with Co-op Bank did from the outset. I shouldn't have been surprised, I've been a customer for many years. The documentary-like approach to the ad really captures what we do with great authenticity.”

Creative Agency

TV Producer: Rebecca O’Sullivan / Abbie Mclean

Copywriter: Blake Waters

Art Director: Steve Robertson

Executive Creative Director: Beri Cheetham

Planner: Max Keane

Creative Agency: Leo Burnett London

Group Executive Creative Director: Justin Tindall

Media Agency

Media Agency: Rocket

Planner: Sophie O'Brien

Music and Sound

Audio Post Production: Grand Central 


Editor: Leo King @ Stitch 

Post Production / VFX

Post Production House: Time Based Arts

Production Company

Director: John Dower

Production Company: Pulse

Category: Banking , Finance/insurance