When confirming the news that ASB was parting ways with Saatchi & Saatchi after five years, the bank's general manager of marketing and communications Roger Beaumont said his team was finalising details with an agency to take over digital, direct and data-based responsibilities for the business.
This agency has now been revealed to be Aussie shop With Collective, which will be expanding into New Zealand as a new arm of the Dentsu Aegis Network.
ASB has been a long-standing client of Dentsu on the media side but this win gives the agency group a bigger cut of the bank's overall spend.
“This is an important new partnership for ASB as we continue to evolve our marketing model,” says Shane Evans, ASB’s general manager of marketing. “Our goal is to create and deliver personalised experiences for our customers, supported by data-driven insights and marketing optimisation. With all this in mind, we’ve been impressed with With Collective’s strengths in data."
At this stage, ASB seems in no rush to find a replacement to take over the branding role that Saatchi previously looked after. This does, however, make sense, given the bank's interest in reaching a more targeted group of customers and the move is also in line with the bank's evolving strategy in recent years.
Asked whether the bank was moving away from traditional advertising after parting ways with Saatchi, a spokesperson from ASB's corporate communications team told StopPress: "It would be fair to say that we are constantly refining our media spend in order to engage with the audiences we are wanting to reach, and that we are certainly spending a lot less on traditional media now than we were previously."
This, of course, does not imply that ASB will never do another TVC, but the services With Collective specialises in are certainly focused on the digital side.
With Collective was originally an independent digital agency, before being acquired by the Dentsu Aegis Group in September 2016.
Following this acquisition, With Collective was linked to Isobar within the Dentsu Aegis Group, with Justin Hind stepping into the role of co-founder and chief executive of the combined 'With Collective Linked by Isobar' operation.
As With Collective opens its second branch (the other being in Sydney), the agency will launch with an initial team of six.
“With Collective will add important direct and data capability that will perfectly complement our other agencies and I’m really excited about their potential for growth in this market,” says Dentsu Aegis New Zealand chief executive Rob Harvey.