A sweet and magical . . . bank ad?

When we think of banking and finance, the first (or second, third, or fourth) thing that comes to mind usually isn’t romance. But with its “For the Journey” campaign, the British-based Lloyds TSB might just change that.

Directed by Marc Craste, the animated commercial opens with a young couple meeting on a train as it speeds by glorious Oz-like fields of yellow flowers. The man presents the blushing woman with a bouquet, and we watch as the train takes them through life’s milestones: their church wedding, their first home, the birth of their child, and the child’s growing up, boarding a train, and starting a journey of her own.

The 60-second ad is wonderfully executed with perfect fairy-tale-esque music by Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin. (Thanks to the exposure from the ad, “Eliza’s Aria,” from Kats-Chernin’s Wild Swans, quickly became a popular U.K. iTunes pick.) It is that extremely rare piece of merchandising treacle that doesn’t cloy.

WATCH “For the Journey”

VISIT Elena Kats-Chernin’s MySpace page

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A sweet and magical . . . bank ad?