Buying a house is one of life’s milestones, an unforgettable moment cemented in many a film/book/TV show. It is also a subject of conversation that has seen a great deal of airtime in recent years as houses prices have shot so high that young millennials have been labelled Generation Rent.
When talk of buying a house comes up, so too does mortgages and where best to get one from. Nationwide’s latest campaign from VCCP is a journey into the bank’s history and the first couple they helped to buy their home.
The TV spot tells the story of Mortgage Number One through a poem, written and performed by Jo Bell that takes us back to Victorian England. It’s the latest in a series of spoken word executions the bank has used to talk about its products, an art form that has been growing in popularity particularly in adverts, to talk about subjects that are often deemed uninteresting or boring.
Elizabeth and Alfred Idle, both librarians, were an exception in the 19th century, workers who gained a mortgage through Nationwide at a time when usually only those in the gentlemen classes did. As the ad says, Alfred Idle signed “the dotted lifeline” for 29 Morrison Street in 1884, a property in Battersea, London that is still mortgaged by Nationwide today.
VCCP and Nationwide worked closely with members of the Idle family to recreate the story as true to reality as possible. Nationwide has looked to its heritage in previous campaigns, to evoke powerful feelings of nostalgia and help the bank gain trust in a sector that notoriously has very little.