The Cannings were a fictional 'typical' working-class family created by Natwest in the mid-1990s, to advertise the bank's various products and services. They consisted of mum & dad (both in their 40s- he was a plumber and somewhat overweight), their rather brattish son, and 'gran', a stereotypical old bat who wore Edwardian-style black garments and carried an umbrella.
Launched in mid-1995, there were several Canning Family ads, each one showing them using a different facility that Natwest had to offer, to their considerable advantage. The best-known one featured them renting a farm cottage for their holiday, only to find that country life is far from being the idyll that Mum Canning first imagined it to be.
Whoever created the Cannings probably fondly imagined that they would capture public affection and become national icons, rather like the Giles Family. In fact, nobody could stand them- they came across as charmless, boorish slobs that no-one in their right mind would ever want to identify themselves with for a minute! Natwest dropped them in October '97, allegedly as part of a cost-cutting drive- few people were sorry to see them go.