How personal is too personal? ASB know all about that, after all its Creating Futures campaign has been centred on providing that personal touch. But it all got a little too personal recently when its In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) commercial was unveiled to the viewing public, prompting a raft of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority for being too simplistic and exploiting the vulnerable, among other reasons.
The controversial ad depicts a couple going to all extremes to raise the funds for IVF treatment, including selling a beloved vintage car. ASB saves the day by providing them an “IVF special assistance” loan, and the happy couple end up being the proud parents of triplets. But complain as people did about the ad, none of the complaints were upheld.
When ASB waved goodbye to its agency of 10 years TBWA\ and with that, its long-time companion Goldstein, it was a chance for Droga5 to strut its stuff. But as well all know the new branding and associated advertising effort has received mixed reviews right from the start. And although she’s only relatively new at the helm of ASB, chief executive Barbara Chapman will surely be feeling the heat. While the Creating Futures campaign launched in November last year, Chapman only assumed the role of chief executive at ASB on 26 April this year. Prior to that, she held executive roles at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. But her role as chief executive is by no means her first dabble with ASB. When the Goldstein campaign launched over 10 years ago, it was Chapman who oversaw the campaign as ASB’s marketing chief.
So with a new chief executive, can we expect the Creating Futures campaign to change direction at all? Chapman’s interview with interest.co.nz offers a hint. In that interview Chapman tells Gareth Vaughan she would not have run the IVF commercial. But of course, the decision to air the ad was made before her time.
We approached ASB ourselves to find out where their head is at with the Creating Futures campaign, where they see it heading and what Chapman’s role within it all is. Not surprisingly, ASB was happy to dish out the positive reinforcement saying, “the response to the Creating Futures campaign, both from customers and from our ASB people, has been very positive since its launch in November last year.”
To retain that positive outlook, it says it is constantly refining and evolving its presentation of the ASB brand to the market and has been continually tweaking the campaign ever since it launched, something Chapman has played a part in ever since she joined the team in April.
But while it’s focused on the positive, the bank acknowledges not all elements of the campaign have been successful.
“In particular, we felt that the focus on the concept of "I'm" was seen by some to be introspective and tended to distract attention away from ASB's longstanding focus on excellence in customer service,” says the bank.