The U.K. banking group Lloyds is celebrating its 250th anniversary by bringing back its famous black horse in a tear-jerking ad campaign.
The centerpiece of the push is a film, “Horse Story”, which shows horses (black, of course) in a range of scenarios intended to demonstrate the “strength and support” they have provided in humanity’s day-to-day life, since the bank was founded in 1765.
Opening with the birth of a cute foal, through an 18th century plough horse, war horses and various other scenes from the pre-mechanized age, the film also shows an eighties bride being surprised by a horse-drawn carriage and the final moments feature British Para show jumper, Susi Rogers Hartley.
All the scenes, directed by Sam Brown, are intended to showcase the values of loyalty, trust and service, according to the brand (though the part during the 2008 banking crisis when Lloyds’ takeover of the ailing HBOS could have been denoted by a “crazy horse” has apparently been overlooked).
The Lloyds Bank black horse motif has been in use on and off since 1884 and the animal was featured prominently in its TV advertising throughout the ’80s and ’90s. It was dropped at the turn of the millennium after Lloyds 1995 merger with TSB and the company, as Lloyds TSB, went on to create the long-running “For the Journey” marketing strategy.
The new campaign, created by Adam&Eve/DDB, carries the strapline: “By your side for 250 years” and is the first work for Lloyds by the agency, which was appointed for this anniversary project without a pitch. Lloyds’s existing creative agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R will now face Adam&Eve/DDB to compete for the banking group’s ad business next month.