PR team: In-house
Timescale: May 2009-January 2010
Santander acquired Abbey in 2004, and Alliance & Leicester and parts of Bradford & Bingley during the autumn of 2008. The media team was asked to manage external comms around the rebrand.
- To highlight the rebrand
- To drive traffic to the Santander website.
Strategy and plan
The rebrand was announced midweek in May 2009 to avoid the personal finance media. B-roll footage and history documents were provided to journalists via the Santander.co.uk portal. A new product, the zero current account, was announced in November and timed to break just before the Supreme Court's ruling on the OFT test case on bank charges.
An unveiling of the new brand in January was announced at a press conference with the group chairman Emilio Botin and F1 driver Lewis Hamilton.
Measurement and evaluation
In total, the announcements generated 375 items of print and broadcast coverage.
By November 2009, awareness of Santander in the UK was at an all-time high, with 90 per cent recall. There were more than three million hits to the Santander website in the month following the rebrand. The campaign won the Corporate and Business category at the CIPR Excellence Awards 2010.