Making a big noise with Little Britain

Little Britain
No nuggets: a Nationwide staffer explains that the mutual “does money” not chips in TV advert

Visiting a Nationwide Building Society branch should be more fun than it used to be if the new series of advertisements that embrace television comedy stars of Little Britain and the first commercial work involving comedy duo Matt Lucas and David Walliams are anything to go by. But that is surmise rather than a guarantee.

“The new TV adverts are iconic, full of humour and their extreme nature is a natural foil for the common sense approach Nationwide has to financial services,” James Boulton, Nationwide’s divisional director of customer strategy and marketing, told Chatroom.

So common sense prevails and the adverts, as Boulton insists, “are further evidence of our commitment to showing how our mutual model, combined with great service and a commitment to long-term value for our members, makes us different”.

Even so the adverts, which run until July 12 under the strap line ’Nationwide – proud to be different’ are lots of fun and feature characters from theLittle Britain sketch show as consumers interacting with Nationwide staff.

The first features teenage delinquent Vicky Pollard and her friend Rochelle. Mistaking a Nationwide branch for a chip shop Vicky attempts to order chips, sausage and a deep fried pizza.

Staff try to explain that the mutual does money not chips – and with no shareholders to pay it can focus on its customers. An outraged Vicky storms out complaining that “they don’t even do chicken nuggets”.

The second advertisement, featuring Emily and Florence – two ladies going about their ladylike business like any other normal ladies – illustrates the fact that all Nationwide’s products are available to existing customers whether they are ladies or, er, men.

And as World Cup football fever starts to grip the nation the third advertisement showcases Nationwide’s sponsorship of the England football team and features Little Britain characters Andy and Lou.

In the clip Lou, the long suffering carer for supposedly wheelchair-bound Andy, approaches England manager Fabio Capello as he watches his team train. While his back is turned Andy leaps out of his chair and takes on stars Theo Walcott, Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch before booting the ball past goalkeeper David James to score.

As ever he is back in his chair before Lou notices a thing, despite the stunned faces of the team.