Howard Brown (Halifax Bank)

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Howard Brown
Born 1966 (age 50–51)
Sheldon, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, UK
Genres Advertising
Occupation(s) Singer, sales ambassador
Years active 2000-2008

Howard Brown (born c. 1966)[1] is a former customer services representative and sales ambassador for HBOS plc, which owned both Bank of Scotland and Halifax Bank (previously the Halifax Building Society) in the United Kingdom. He is best known for his appearances in Halifax/HBOS television advertisements, often singing and dancing. He was born in Sheldon, Birmingham, and is of Barbadian[1] descent.

Music and television career[edit]

Brown became the star of the HBOS Marketing Campaign in 2000, which resulted in him singing in most of his adverts.

In 2003, he had a role in The Office Christmas special, playing himself alongside Ricky Gervais as David Brent and Paul "Bubble" Ferguson from Big Brother 2. The three men took part in a nightclub promotion Blind Date game which was hosted by Mike McClean. Brown and Bubble were getting on much better with the female contestant than Brent, much to his dissatisfaction. When Brown sat down, McClean shouted at the audience "Who gives you extra?" to which they replied "Who Who Who?". This is a reference to the Halifax advert which sings "Who gives you extra?" to the tune of "Who Let the Dogs Out?" by the Baha Men. Brown does not actually sing in that particular advert as it was performed by Matt Thornfield and Brown only appeared in cartoon form.

In 2004, the Bank Of Scotland dropped Brown from their versions of the adverts, as the style of the adverts was not well received by its customers.[2][3]

In 2005, he released a cover of the Barry White song You're the First, the Last, My Everything as a charity single.[4] It peaked at number 13 in the UK Singles Chart.

From April 2008, Brown no longer starred in the Halifax adverts, instead taking a role in its public relations department.[5][6] In 2011, he left the company.[7]

In 2017, Howard made a cameo return to the world of advertising in an advert for Hotels.com.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Salter, Jessica (26 September 2008). "Halifax's Howard buys £800,000 second home". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  2. ^ MacDonald, Stuart (3 November 2004). "HOWARD'S AWAY; Customers hated the singing banker". Daily Record. Glasgow. 
  3. ^ Simpson, Jane (13 May 2007). "The bank that's hoping to cash in on our Ashley (After it withdrew Englishman Howard)". The Mail on Sunday. 
  4. ^ Lake, Howard (17 January 2005). "Halifax's Howard Brown launches charity single for NSPCC". 
  5. ^ Elkes, Neil (21 April 2008). "Howard Brown axed from Halifax adverts". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 17 August 2008. 
  6. ^ Green, Chris (6 August 2008). "Howard's end: he's too happy for a recession". The Independent. London. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Peck, Tom (20 May 2011). "Howard quits Halifax after bank decides his face no longer fits". The Independent. London. 
  8. ^ Hotels.com Europe (2017-07-10), Captain Obvious gets interrupted, retrieved 2017-08-05