TSB - The relationship project

Case study - Objective: Change minds

Downloadable ad - TSB


How does a bank successfully drive consideration for its current account product when people are more likely to switch their spouse than their bank? Luckily, TSB had insight that Guardian readers are 64 times more likely to read relationship content rather than banking content, which enabled the brand to cut-through long-standing category inertia.

TSB positioned banking relationships as a slightly unrewarding life partner, encouraging people to consider why they have settled for all this time. The campaign personified readers’ current accounts, pushing them to wake-up and wonder whether they could do better – then showing them how to get what they deserve from a long-lasting relationship (with their bank).

In order to overcome customer loyalty by default, the campaign had to actively engage the audience with a new narrative, led by trusted voices in a credible, opinion-forming environment. The Guardian was a perfect fit, sharing the same brand values as TSB. Research showed that two in three of TSB’s core audience look to their newspaper to inform their opinions, with 76% of readers of ‘qualities’ agreeing that they trust what they read, rising to 87% of Guardian readers.

Insight informed TSB’s three-pronged strategy around reframing the issue, provoking re-evaluation and education. The activity launched with a Valentine’s Day takeover in print and online with infographics, articles and videos. Content was housed in a co-branded hub on The Guardian website, with social media providing additional reach and engagement.


Key findings

  • Consideration of TSB increased by 33%
  • Consideration of TSB for personal current accounts increased 31%
  • Brand positivity rates doubled
  • Brand endorsement rates rose 90%

The relationship project was a smartly executed campaign rooted in a simple insight that enabled us to connect with our audience… We are proud of the partnership with The Guardian and the results it generated.

Jo Newsman, head of marketing, commercial banking, TSB