first direct – Stories as Customer Experience

The new UK ads for online bank firstdirect are great. Short TV pieces that feature a "real" voiceover, complete with umms, ahs and stumbles – all customers comparing the story of a friend dealing with their bank with their own story of dealing with the bank. And it works. Well.

The story structure is a great way of creating the emotional hook for viewers and prospects – as well as reminding firstdirect customers why they’re there in the first place. And including the umms, ahs and stumbles makes it a more real human communication, despite the fact that it’s over a potentially distancing medium.

Like a handful of other marketers, firstdirect has realised that what marketing is about is the transfer of knowledge – why someone might want their service. And the best way of transferring knowledge, as IBM’s Dave Snowden frequently points out, is to tell human stories.