A Pet Piggybank Really Hams It Up in Santander Bank’s Adorable New Ad

Arnold preaches customer service

Santander Bank

Touting Santander Bank’s commitment to customer care, Arnold Worldwide spins a twisty, tender tale about a little girl’s lost pet pig. Or is it a piggybank? Hey, it’s both! (But mostly, it’s a brand metaphor.)

The peppy porker hams it up in the minute-long ad below, deftly dodging downtown traffic before falling into the hands of some curious kids and breaking apart on the sidewalk in a geyser of small change. Luckily, there’s a Santander banker nearby, who takes the unfortunate oinker home for some much-needed kindness and repairs.

In the most unexpected surprise ending of all time, ol’ soft-hearted banksy ultimately deposits his porcine pal back with its rightful owners.

“At Santander Bank, we want you to prosper,” a voiceover says. “That’s why we treat you and your money just like you would—with respect. And respect adds up.”

The dual nature of the pig as bank and pet could have been confusing, but Rattling Stick director Daniel Kleinman really brings home the bacon. He stays on-message through shrewd storytelling and lets viewers draw whatever conclusions they like. Besides, leaving things a bit ambiguous gives the story an extra fantastical kick.

“We wanted it to be unique and peculiar,” says James Bray, executive creative director at Arnold, which developed the ad with VFX company Framestore. “If it read piggybank too soon, the story wouldn’t work. So, we tried hard to blend a bit of puppy, with pig, with piggybank. The puppy because they’re a more relatable pet. You can see this in the long ears. This also helps make the pig, which isn’t usually the cutest of animals, appear more floppy, soft and adorable. The piggybank features, like the slot in its back, the short disproportionate legs and snout help the viewer wonder what the heck this little animal was.”

He adds, “Once we settled on the character’s shape and size, we created a model of it. This model was simply an undetailed stand-in. It was often pulled on filament through the frame in order to map out the speed and timings of its movement. The characters in the scenes used it as an interaction reference point as well as an object to hold.”

In a secondary flight of ads with similar brand themes, Arnold and Hungry Man director Hank Perlman pig out on broad visual puns to explain that the Santander doesn’t “shaft,” “fleece” or “hose” its customers. As for competing banks, well, they might just give you Jack Squat (in a lavender muscle-shirt and headband, doing squats in your driveway).

“We didn’t want to come off as holier than thou,” says Bray. “Using these simple word plays helped us keep the tone light and likable. By firmly and obviously planting our tongue in our cheek, we don’t come off too seriously. So, when a character gets hosed, or fleeced, or the shaft, literally—as ridiculous as that is—it gives us a fun way to pivot back to our more respectful products and services.”

CREDITS

PIGGY
Agency: Arnold Worldwide
Executive Creative Director: James Bray
Creative Director, Art: Sam Mullins
Creative Director, Copy: Justin Galvin
Copywriter: James Bray
Producers: Spring Clinton, Emily LaPierre
Planner: Ed Castillo
Marketing: Angela Herbst, Erika Gammon, Stephanie Barnes
Project Management: Tina Meade, Priscilla Patterson
Business Affairs: Jamie-Lyn Gaudet
VFX: Framestore
Executive Producer, Head of Advertising: Helen Hughes
Senior VFX Producer: Josh King
Line Producer: Lara Marshall
On Set Supervisor (LA): Alex Thomas
Visual Effects Supervisor, CG Lead: Tim Jenkinson
Visual Effects Supervisor, Compositing Lead: Chris Redding
Animation Supervisor: Osman Gani
Head of CG: Grant Walker
Concept Artists: Nikola Yordanov, David Lockhead
Lead Modeller: Paola Santoro
Modelling: Joel Best, Omar Jason
Texturing: Judit Somogyvari
Rigging: Andy Butler
Colorist: Steffan Perry
Creative Director, Animation: Ross Burgess
Animators: James Bown, Felice Minieri
Groom: Gabriela Ruch Salmeron
FX, Lighting: Rafael Rey Camacho
Lighting: Mathias Cadyck, Sebastian Mayer
Compositors: Sam Meisels, Mike Simons, Kane Herd, Pawasut Chatmaleerat
Paint & Roto: Hasan Khan, Jonathan Williams
Production Company: Rattling Stick
Executive Producers: Joe Biggins, Jeff Shupe
Producer: Johnnie Frankel
Director: Daniel Kleinman
First Assistant Director: Jack Fitch
Director of Photography: Toby Irwin
Editorial Company: Whitehouse Post
Producer: Jennifer Mersis
Editor: Rick Lawley
Sound Design: 740
Lead Sound Designer: Chris Pinkston
Sound Designer: Josh Reinhardt
Executive Producer: Scott Ganary
Music: “Home” written by Simon Steadman and Charlton Pettus
Vocal arrangement: Future Perfect

DON’T GET SURPRISED (Pole, Fleece, Hose, Jack)
Agency: Arnold Worldwide
Executive Creative Director: James Bray
Creative Director, Art: Sam Mullins
Creative Director, Copy: Justin Galvin
Copywriter: James Bray
Producers: Spring Clinton, Emily LaPierre
Planner: Ed Castillo
Marketing: Angela Herbst, Erika Gammon, Shaye Ellis
Project Management: Tina Meade, Priscilla Patterson
Business Affairs: Jamie-Lyn Gaudet
Production Company: Hungry Man
Executive Producers: Kevin Byrne, Mino Jarjoura, Dan Duffy, Jacki Sextro, Caleb Dewart,
Line Producer: Caleb Dewart
First Assistant Director: Mike Curtis
Director of Photography: John Lindley
Editorial Company: Hutch Co.
Executive Producer: Jane Hutchins
Editor: Jim Hutchins
VFX: Brickyard
Executive Producer: Amy Appleton
Flame Artist: Dave Waller
Color Company: CO3
Colorist: Tim Massig
Music: Beacon Street Studios
Mix and Sound Design: Mike Secher, Soundtrack

Jorge Rodriguez
Agency Marketing Manager

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