First Direct Bank recruitment campaign


Outdoor advertising LeedsFirst Direct Bank first approached us to look at their Recruitment advertising for both the Leeds and Hamilton call centres in early 2015. They were specifically looking for an Agency to be able to handle the Outdoor advertising campaigns whilst they retained the on-line element. We provided a detailed proposal of our services and have been working with them ever since.


They are a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week Bank. As such, they only use call centres, and have no local branches. These are based in Leeds and Hamilton, with Leeds being the main office. As with all call centres, there is a natural turnover of staff. To counter this, they run recruitment drives periodically two or three times a year. The company uses their website and on-line campaigns to attract potential joiners. However they know they need to reach a wider audience. Experience tells them that the best candidates are invariably either already employed, are looking to re-enter the workplace after having children or are Further Education students. 

This is where the Outdoor advertising comes into its own.

By using a mix of large format billboards and internal and external bus advertising, their message is highly visible to commuters. These commuters may be the preferred candidates who will then directly see the message.  They may be influencers to the candidates who will mention the opportunities to their family members. Either way, First Direct Bank know that their outdoor campaigns drive enquiries to their website allowing them to fill the courses.

There are several reasons why each recruitment campaign works. 

  • Both billboards and buses are very visual mediums. 
  • The advertising message is extremely simple, and also consistent across all the media options. 
  • They have consistently run campaigns two or three times a year for over 5 years. This consistency means they are a known and trusted advertiser.

To assist with these regular campaigns, 18 months ago we secured two refurbished 48 sheet billboards on the busy A639. The boards are back to back and situated very close the Leeds head office. Their location is very obvious to the daily commuter travelling to and from the City. First Direct are the first and only advertiser to date to use these refurbished boards.

June and July 2020Outdoor advertising Leeds

The COVID-19 pandemic meant that First Direct had to suspend all recruitment from April 2020. The already booked June and July recruitment campaign therefore was altered to run a more generic branding message. Everything happened last minute, as is only to be expected in these unique circumstances. However we turned everything around in time to meet creative deadlines.

Although not an ideal situation for anyone, the new creative certainly made an impact. It was significantly different to the normal recruitment messaging but still recognisably First Direct.

There were also some unexpected benefits.  Many of their campaigns lasted longer than were booked because the lockdown meant the media owners were not sending out fixers to replace existing campaigns. Also, new campaigns could not be booked! This meant First Direct received coverage for much longer than they paid for.

As COVID-19 infections recede and lockdown is eased, we expect things to return to normal in terms of recruitment. We are currently looking at media availability for another recruitment advertising campaign in Leeds and Hamilton to run in September 2020.

For booking details of all billboards and bus opportunities in Leeds, Hamilton and across the whole country, contact CG Advertising Ltd TODAY by visiting our website