Turning swearing, racism and death threats into mutal respect

Wavemaker UK

Agency: Nationwide Building Society
Client: Nationwide Building Society

Wavemaker and Nationwide Building Society took a big risk in 2020. While the nation was getting to grips with living under the shadow of COVID-19, we took a public stand against a disturbing trend of abusive behaviour towards customer-facing staff. Spitting, racism, even death threats - we saw it happen in Nationwide’s own branches and call centres, and realised we weren’t alone; there were over 400 such incidents every day. As a brand that exists to build society, we knew we couldn’t stand by and do nothing. We partnered with others who believe abuse should never just be ‘part of the job’ and created one of the ‘sweariest’ pieces of branded content ever broadcast. 91% of people who saw it said they would consider how they treated customer facing staff in future (Source: Channel 4’s Core4 Research October 2020).

Having put the viewer in the shoes of those experiencing this abuse, we fuelled conversations across a range of influential touchpoints to promote a society built on mutual respect. 71% of people agreed they were more likely to consider Nationwide as a result of seeing the campaign (Source: Nationwide Brand Guidance Study – compiled by Kantar, based on All Consumer responses (January 2021) vs. benchmark of 49%).