Client: Bank of Scotland
Agency: RKCR/Y&R
Territory: Scotland

Scotland’s oldest bank has had an eventful decade, beginning optimistically with a merger with English building society Halifax (to become HBOS) and ending ignominiously after being taken over by LloydsTSB in the fallout of the financial crisis in 2008.

Last week, Lloyds launched a new television ad as part of efforts to refresh Bank of Scotland’s identity. It has returned the bank to its Scottish roots, dropped the name Halifax from its branches and refocused on “traditional banking values”.

The ad – animated in a simple, friendly style, almost like a modern version of a 1960s public information film, and narrated in a soft, reassuring Scottish brogue by actor Dougray Scott – focuses on a young couple as they meet, get married, buy a home and start a family. The new brand promise is “With You All The Way”.

In the context of recent crises, the claim and the homely way it is delivered may seem almost ironic – it is as if the past couple of years never happened.

Yet viewed within the context of the bank’s centuries-old relationship with Scottish people (it was founded in 1695), and at a time when a host of new entrants are trying to establish a high street banking presence to take advantage of public mistrust of the incumbents, it is a bold and sensible approach.

Bank of Scotland is digging deep into its DNA to recapture and amplify the institution’s most appealing brand assets.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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