THURSDAY 19 OCT 2017 12:22 PM


Viewers of Charlie Brooker’s annual Screenwipe programme and its spin-off, Moments of Wonder, will know of Philomena Cunk. A self-proclaimed ‘idiot,’ Cunk is regularly found questioning the state of the world as well as simpler problems such as, ‘Where is the money in a coin?’ However, Diane Morgan, the actor and comedian behind Cunk, has recently come to the forefront of the branded content landscape.

A recent campaign sees Morgan partner with retail bank First Direct to encourage its audience to branch out and try new things. Partnering with London-based global agency We Are Social, UK-wide retail bank First Direct has launched a new social media campaign based on the notion of ‘stepping outside your comfort zone.'

Challenges so far see Morgan attempt pram yoga, falconry and acupuncture. The irreverent and varied campaign is part of First Direct’s desire to expand its brand awareness and attract new customers from a younger, more inquisitive audience. Interesting stills and teaser cut-led content support the three-strong video series, while using targeted paid media.

The social media campaign follows First Direct’s wider rebrand and awareness campaign, which launched on 1 September. Showing Morgan as a light-hearted and modern personality reflects the portrayal of First Direct as a contemporary bank – digitally-savvy, yet with enough clout to recognise the importance of having a ‘real human’ behind the façade.

Head of brand and marketing at First Direct, Zoe Burns-Shore, says, “This campaign captures the essence of what it means to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. Diane putting her own comic spin on trying something out of the ordinary really helps bring the first direct brand to life, showing we take money seriously, not ourselves.”

We Are Social’s in-house production team created the assets in collaboration with Oscar-winning production house Grain, directed by Jon Drever. First Direct’s rebrand was carried out by the Karma Group, part of Accenture Interactive.