Nationwide Building Society have launched a television advertisement promoting their sponsorship of the English Football team playing in the FIFA 2006 World Cup in Germany. The main character, a rude bank manager played by English comedy actor Mark Benton, drifts off to sleep while supposedly listening to a client discussing new rates for a loan. The rude manager dreams that he’s the goalie for the English football team, with the responsibility of saving the team’s victory in the final by preventing a penalty shot. With dramatic opera music in the background, the manager prances around, attempting to put off the opposition’s striker. We see members of the English national football team nervously preparing for the penalty.
The commentator give us the rundown…
“Once more it’s a penalty for the side. The world’s greatest prize. Forty years of hurt on the big man’s shoulders. Oh, cheeky! (The goalie drops the ball through the striker’s hands). He’s looking confident. England expects. And his wife Maureen is also expecting. Thou shalt not pass. It’s all about focus and discipline now. We’ve been here before…”
The bank manager leaps into a handstand to pull off a scissors kick, preventing a goal and securing England’s win in the World Cup. The players and the crowd go wild with excitement.
“Oh he’s done it! Football’s coming home! He’s a hero, reminiscent of Banks! Well he does work in a bank, John. Wake up!” (A reference to Gordon Banks, retired English goalie).
The bank manager wakes up to discover his client shaking him. He hugs the client to celebrate England’s win and his status of hero. Disgusted, the client walks out, wipes the kiss from his cheek, and finds a branch of the Nationwide Building Society.
The final voiceover: “At Nationwide Building Society we don’t just dream of England’s success. We’ve been a proud partner of the English team for the past eight years. Nationwide – proud to be different.”
The Nationwide Football Dream television campaign was created at Leagas Delaney, London, by creative Rob Burleigh with producers Matthew Jones, Caroline Connor and James Miller.
Filming was shot by director Paul Weiland with producer Mary Francis.
Sound was produced at Jungle Studios, London.
Post production was done at The Mill, London, with producer Liz Browne, Telecine Adam Scott, Lead Flame Judy Roberts, Flame Assists Edwin So and Adam Lambert, Smoke artist John Thornton.
To create the desired effect of a dream sequence Judy Roberts designed and built the stadium in Flame and created the abstract crowds and dreamy backgrounds to give this section an obvious imaginary look and feel. Judy also created additional elements like confetti, flares, neon lights and signs around the stadium. Time was also spent on Mark Benton’s fabulous over head kick which he did himself whilst attached to stunt wires. For this one shot Judy had to cut and fold his body movements in flame to create one smooth action shot.
Talk Sport’s article on the Nationwide Dream includes a comment from Nationwide’s sponsorship controller, Chris Hull.
“We would be thrilled if Paul Robinson could pull off a similar save in Berlin against Germany on July 9 to help us bring the trophy home for the first time in 40 years. The message in the commercial is that we don’t just dream about England success, as we have backed the Three Lions to four consecutive major tournaments.”
English football players featured in the Nationwide Football Dream TV ad include Germain Defoe, Ashley Cole, Joe Cole and Michael Owen. The bank manager is played by Mark Benton, known for his role as Dave Bolton in The Booze Cruise I, II and III, Father McBride in Murphy’s Law (2004), Clive Finch in Doctor Who (2005), Howie in Northern Lights (2006), and Johnny Tyler, the Devil’s representative on Earth in The Second Coming (2003).
Earlier rude bank manager TV ads made for Nationwide by Leagas Delane were directed by Armando Iannucci: Mortgages for New Customers, Loans for New Customers, >Credit Card Charges and Tips.