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Starling Bank launches campaign inspiring Britons to break free from traditional banking

1st October 2021

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London, Friday 1st October 2021: Starling, the leading digital bank, has launched a new campaign, encouraging consumers to break free from their old way of banking.

The campaign, produced by Wonderhood Studios, is the first under Starling’s new platform ‘Here to Change’. It aims to wake people up to the power of change to make things better. Spanning TV, VOD (video on demand), cinema and digital, it is designed to acquire new customers by reinforcing Starling’s leading proposition.

The 60-second TV spot, “Set Yourself Free”, directed by Sam Pilling, follows a customer in a long queue within a bank branch; we see her, and other customers, becoming impatient with the long wait. As she gazes up, she spots a few flying starlings through the glass dome far above her head and decides to set herself free. She slowly floats up into the air, taking flight above the other customers and bank staff. She flies freely around the building and effortlessly breaks through the glass dome, continuing her journey as she soars through the open sky outside.

By taking flight, we see the character physically setting herself free from her old bank, using the Starling app on her phone as she flies. A wide shot shows her elegantly soaring through the sky, before text which reads, “Set yourself free from your old bank,” followed by “Starling Bank. Here to change”. The soundtrack is Cream’s classic “I Feel Free”.

Another version of the 60-second advert features a family with a young child as the lead characters, taking flight and breaking free of their old bank.

Anne Boden, CEO at Starling Bank said: “When people see the campaign, we want them to feel inspired to make the change to a fairer and smarter alternative to traditional banks.”

Aidan McClure, Chief Creative Officer at Wonderhood Studios said: “Starling are smashing it, they’re a fantastic company on a mission to change banking. We’re incredibly proud to help them with their next chapter, creating a new brand platform and campaign with all the love, care and attention they deserve.”

Sam Pilling, Director, said: “When I first read the idea I absolutely loved the playful, surreal tone and knew I could have a lot of fun coming up with moments of Peter-pan magic and mischief for our character. It was integral that we filmed our actor in camera, to ensure the effect felt believable. Anna Sari (our hero) was an absolute trooper - enduring several days on wires - swooping down through the space at speed, bouncing around high in the sky on a zip line, and generally spinning every which way! She was a delight to work with. The world around our hero was as important as the spectacle of her flight - so a lot of emphasis was put on the characterful reactions from the other customers, bank staff (and pigeon!).”

The campaign, which includes one 60, two 30, three 20 second versions, launches on TV on Friday 1st October on Channel 4 and Sky, with spots in prominent shows such as Gogglebox. Sky Cinema Premiere Sponsorship will air from 8th October. It is supported by spots in VOD, cinema and digital. The media planning and buying is handled by Electric Glue.

Starling is one of the UK’s leading digital challenger banks; it has been named ‘Best British Bank’ for four years running by The British Bank Awards and is a Which? recommended provider.

About Starling Bank

Starling Bank is an award-winning, fully-licensed and regulated bank built to give people a fairer, smarter and more human alternative to the banks of the past. It offers business, personal, joint, euro and dollar current accounts alongside a child card. Starling also provides B2B banking and payments services through its Banking-as-a-Service model based on the proprietary technology platform that it uses to power its own bank. The Starling Marketplace offers customers in-app access to a selection of third-party financial services. Headquartered in London, it has offices in Southampton, Cardiff and Dublin.

About Wonderhood Studios

Wonderhood Studios is a new kind of creative company. Established in 2018, Wonderhood Studios is fully independent and is an agency driven by unique forms of collaboration, using the power of creativity to grow ambitious brands and get them talked about.

About Electric Glue

Electric Glue is an independent media agency. It aims to help clients scale their businesses by encouraging them to do fewer, bigger, and better things which have a real impact with their customers, in their sector and on their businesses.


Creative Credits

Creative Team: Sofie Saietz, Simone Weilborg Creative Director: Harv Bains Chief Creative Officer: Aidan McClure Director of Data Strategy: Jack Colchester Strategy Director: Joe Harris Chief Strategy Officer: Jessica Lovell Account Manager: Darcy Gilbert Account Director: Victoria Turner Chief Operating Officer: Alex Best Producer: Nikki Holbrow

Film Credits

Production Company: PULSE Director: Sam Pilling Executive Producer and MD: James Sorton Producer: David French DoP: Franz Lustig Production Design: John Stevenson Local Service Company: Radioaktive Editor/Editing House: Ellie Johnson at Tenthree Post Production: The Mill Colourist: James Bamford Sound: Sam Ashwell at 750 Music Supervision: Theodor Music Music - Additional Production - Luis Almau Music - Additional Drums - Alex Thomas

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