Big ideas and small ads

If you’ve been on the ‘creative’ page you will have seen the TSB Bank Flying Lesson TV commercial. It’s one my favourite pieces of my career. But it’s not the only work from this incredibly prolific time working on TSB Bank, and a recent chat with a filmmaker made me think, why not put the rest online.

The entire campaign was founded on a core idea of “You wouldn’t expect this from <insert service>, why put up with it from your bank”, pioneered by the CD at Auckland agency Sugar. While I was at Sugar another two campaigns were needed, still based around the core idea but with the flexibility to also work as retail ads – introducing nuances in the concept and voiceover, and a tasteful bit of negative space in the final frame for home loan rates.

‘Wedding’ is the companion piece to ‘‘Flying Lesson”, and just as beautifully created by Silverscreen, one of New Zealand’s top production houses (sadly no longer with us). Friends have said they can ‘hear’ me in the script and how the celebrant speaks.

But there’s more. I haven’t shown most of these in recent times as they’re showing their age – being the tail end of the 4x3 format era, but also only on file in a measly pixel size file, the best I could get hold of at the time (grizzled TV producer 1, midweight agency creative, nil).

Nevertheless the ideas still stand up (and will look fine on a phone!)

A bonus creative opportunity came up with this tactical piece, which features some pretty good CGI for the era. TSB Bank ruled the roost for their customer service and a fairly budget press ad to publicise their latest ratings, featuring balloons in the different bank brand colours quickly, er, ballooned, into a TVC. One of the most memorable experiences in this production was the sound design – playing with balloons in a sound studio and getting paid for it is always a good day on the job.

A shout out to my old copywriter partner Grant (now a video editor in Sydney) for the fun times working on these classic pieces of advertising job-satisfaction.