J. Walter Thompson London

First direct


Unexpected bank

When first direct launched in October 1989, it was carving out a unique niche in the market as the UK’s first telephone-only bank. 22 years later, with our help first direct went back to its core to re-energise the brand and successfully recruit a whole new generation of customers.

Say ‘hello’ to Barry the talking platypus. A most unexpected character who starred in our launch campaign. Here we saw Barry introducing us to his neighbourhood, meeting up with curious friends and advocating first direct along the way.

The following year, building on the success of Barry, we unveiled the story of Little Frill, an easily disgruntled but endearing lizard who finds frustration in poor customer service: the antidote to which is first direct.

We worked with visual effects company MPC to bring both characters to life.

more work