From the beginning of the year, Virgin began the ambitious task of taking on the UK retail banking sector and giving the more established high street banks a run for their money. Their targets included growing their branch network of 75 Northern Rock outlets to 200 and doubling customer numbers to eight million in five years.
In January 2012, Virgin Money unveiled a £10 million pounds advertising campaign, following the completion of its £747 million pounds acquisition of failed lender Northern Rock, on New Year’s Day. The major multi-media marketing campaign, entitled “40 Years of Better”, was aimed to flag up Virgin’s rebranding of Northern Rock in the UK. The TV ads, created by Beattie McGuiness Bungay, showcased Virgin’s sister brands including Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains as well as featuring Virgin’s music industry heritage, complete with the message: "We’ve come a long, long way over the last 40 years with the simple aim of making things better. And now our quest takes us into banking. Virgin Money, 40 years of better now in a bank."
BrandIndex scores show that the campaign was successful in increasing Buzz and Attention whilst active. Not only was there uplift following the launch of the campaign, but the tail off has returned to a baseline higher than levels prior to the campaign launching.
Buzz increased 8 points over the course of January increasing from 1.7 to 9.8 points by the first week in February. It has tailed off to 5 points as of March 20, 2012.