News / Advertising

Simon Cowell banished to the end of the Earth in new ad for Barclaycard

Believe it or not, we’re sort of hooked on the new series of Britain’s Got Talent. Just last week we watched in slack-jawed amazement as an amazingly bald stuntman managed to wriggle himself out of a straitjacket. Whilst hanging upside down. On fire.

If that’s not entertainment, then, genuinely, what is?

Barclays is evidently hoping that the general public shares our (slightly begrudging, but very real) admiration for BGT and its high-trousered and irascible host, Simon Cowell – the frostbitten star of its latest advertising campaign.

In order to promote a new credit card repayment calculator service it’s launched — which allows credit card users to work out exactly how long it’ll take to pay off that trip to New York they took five years ago, which is definitely what you’ll be wanting to do on a Tuesday morning after the most glorious Easter bank holiday in living memory — Barclays has bunged the talent show mainstay off to Antarctica.

The reason that Simon’s been sent on a rather chilly mini break is simple; just like the Barclaycard Repayment Calculator, the idea is terrible. This — and hey, this is how advertising seems to work in 2019 — is intentional.

The scheme helps people find ways to pay less in interest to their chosen credit card provider, and as such makes about as much business sense as going to the effort of hosting a talent show in a country with a population of 1,106.

Simon says, “I wanted to work on this campaign because I love the fact that Barclaycard has created something that’s entirely in its customers’ interests,” which is the exact thing someone paid to star in an ad for a credit card repayment calculator tends to say about starring in an ad for a credit card repayment calculator.

The campaign has been put together by Droga5, and we can’t recommend our recent interview with David Droga highly enough. If there’s ever a day in the year when you’re desperate for life advice from a man who knows a thing or five about success in the creative industries, this might be it…