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Barclaycard anniversary marketing campaign celebrates 50 years of Great British shopping

Barclaycard today launches a nationwide marketing campaign to celebrate the uniqueness of British shopping and reflect on the impact the brand has had on British society since it was established in 1966.

At the core of the six-week campaign sits a new TV advertisement celebrating how Barclaycard’s introduction of the credit card revolutionised the way shoppers and shopkeepers buy and sell across the country.

Launching with a 60-second version during the Britain’s Got Talent final on ITV on Saturday 28th May, and created by iris – Barclaycard’s creative agency, it uses Napoleon’s famous quote that ‘Britain is a nation of shopkeepers’ to herald a sequence of wry insights into our quirky shopping habits and styles as a nation. From the ‘bargain hunters’ to ‘savvy shoppers’ and ‘optimists’, as well as the ‘heroic helpers’ and ‘proud proprietor’ shopkeepers, the advert celebrates how Britons have embraced shopping like no other nation.

Directed by Peter Cattaneo, of British comedy-drama film The Full Monty fame, the advert was shot in multiple locations across the North West of England. Local Barclaycard retailer Sital Raj-Arman, MBE, a bespoke Indian tailor from Bolton was cast in the advert; while customers’ premises were used as locations – including Randalls, a fashion jewellers based in Altrincham. A number of Barclaycard colleagues also stood in as extras for the four-day shoot.

The 50th anniversary marketing campaign includes a brand new digital interactive quiz, “The Barclaycard Great British Shopping Showdown”, which will see the nation vote for their most-loved shopping items. Created by AKQA, Barclaycard’s digital agency, it will run on www.shoppingshowdown.co.uk from 13th June.

National press, cinema and radio activity, a social media campaign directed at consumers and businesses, and activity at this year’s Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park complete the mix.

Over the past 50 years, Barclaycard advertisements have been used to launch a host of industry firsts – from the very first credit card, through to chip and PIN and contactless payments. Barclaycard is the only payments business in the UK to operate as both the issuer of credit cards to consumers and processor of payments for merchants; one pound in every three spent in the UK is done so through Barclaycard.

Katherine Whitton, Chief Marketing Officer for Barclaycard, said:

“In 1966, Barclaycard did more than just launch a new way of paying, we introduced a societal shift in the way that people shop by giving both consumers and merchants greater flexibility over the way they buy and sell. Our new campaign is designed to celebrate just how much of a role the brand has had in the great British pastime of shopping over the past 50 years.

“Our history of innovation is reflected in all areas of the business, including our marketing campaigns; from once holding the record for the world’s longest advert - eight pages in the Daily Mail in the 1960s - through to enlisting world famous comedians or directors and embracing new digital formats. We’re extremely proud to have been at the forefront of so many firsts over the last 50 years.”

David Prideaux, Executive Creative Director at iris, said:

“We're proud to have created this campaign for Barclaycard to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The brand has been part of the fabric of every day since it launched. So whilst most corporate birthdays are quite self-centred affairs, Barclaycard has chosen to create a celebration of their customers instead. By using a series of well-observed vignettes and casting real life retailers and locations we believe we've captured the nuances of uniquely British shopping behaviour.”