‘Prepare to be amazed’: Ant and Dec launch a virtual reality bank

Santander keeps digital simple in ENGINE Creative’s new campaign.

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8TH JANUARY: The latest instalment of ENGINE Creative’s Santander campaign features Ant and Dec avatars running riot in a virtual version of the Bank of Antandec.

TV presenters Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly bring humour and chaos to the new campaign in which they switch between virtual reality and their in-person roles as CEOs of their own bank determined to take ‘digital’ to the next level.

Ant and Dec don their VR headsets and play around in “the world’s first virtual bank” – creating avatars and getting confused between digital and real-life. Meanwhile, Santander is concentrating on keeping the digital stuff simple by benefiting real customers with the launch of the new My Money Manager tool in its Mobile Banking app.

The innovative feature spots your spending habits and helps you to exercise greater financial control – in line with Santander’s ambition to “help people get close to their money”.

Dan Sherwood, Director of Marketing at Santander, said: “Ant & Dec return to our screens in their now familiar roles as CEOs of the Bank of Antandec taking on a new challenge, a digital one. Not only has their strategy changed, but so have they … and we get to see them for the very first time as avatars in the world’s first ever virtual bank.”

Jo Moore, Creative Director at ENGINE Creative, said: “It’s always a pleasure to work with those clever two innovators at the Bank of Antandec, even though they’ve yet to deliver. And they fail to do so again in this new campaign, in which their mind-blowing ‘digital banking’ concept is a ‘virtual Antandec branch’ to help their customers stay close to their money complete with virtual Hobnobs. How on earth can Santander compete? The answer is by keeping things simple.”

Santander and ENGINE Creative began working with Ant and Dec in 2019. The result, which has been unashamedly mass market in its appeal and joyous, has driven brand awareness in a category that often takes itself too seriously and achieved significant stand out.

The Bank of Antandec campaign has helped the bank boost business – increasing mortgage applications by 24% in its first year and growing market share by a whole percentage point – and achieve its highest score for brand love. It won Bronze in the Finance category at the 2020 Effies.

The new campaign will be shown on TV, VOD, Radio Social and Digital for the first three months of the year.

Since launching My Money Manager in October, Santander has signed up more than one million new users. To date, it has presented five million+ insights to its customers.

Client Team

Dan Sherwood, Tina Boyle, Christopher Parker, Jane Green, Sam Westwood, Nita Barchha


Creative Director

Jo Moore

Art Director

Alicia Job


Jessica Watson

Account Handling

Will Lever, Nick Pawlak, Marianne Roberts, Clare Walker

Agency TV Producers

Nicola Ridley, Henry Davies


Erminia Blackden, Rob Jennings

Integrated Project Director

Kirsty Wood, Louisa Lewis


Kelvin Murray / CRXSS

Director / Production Co 

Declan Lowney / Another Film Company - Live Action

BAT / Not To Scale - Animation


Simon Monhemius / Another Film Company

Marcela Ferri / Not To Scale


Leo King / Stitch

Post Production

Creative Outpost

Sound Design

Dave Robinson / Creative Outpost




Bob Spence

Media planning/buying


Agency Leads

Shweta Bhat, John Payne, Becky Linares


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Engine is a Future company. We see the world as divided into those who are disrupting and those who are being disrupted. In the connected age technology is changing the relationship between brands and consumers; the ubiquity of mobile devices, always on connectivity, and direct access to brands and their products, services, and support has redefined what we expect and how we want to engage with them. So we’ve built a company to help both sides of the divide. We are a full stack consultancy, technology, insight, data, brand and experience, and advertising and communications company.