ASB celebrates diversity through poetry

ASB Bank is celebrating diversity through poetry in its latest ad. 

Called ‘This is Us’, the one-minute spot by True, is fronted by Auckland writer and performer Courtney Sina Meredith, with the piece centering around a poem created for ASB by Meredith.

The poem encourages people to celebrate their differences and be who they are, and includes the lines; “We are the land, we are the dance of light on water, our voices weave together constellations of belonging” and “We are many hands hoisting tomorrow’s sun, our truths are forever in bloom.”

Images of ASB staff and customers at different events such as Diwali, Big Gay Out and Auckland Lantern Festival which ASB sponsor are placed alongside images of Meredith reciting the poem.

“When I wrote the poem, I was thinking about the connections between us all, and how important it is to keep reaching out – to reach beyond our comfort zones, to be open to new ideas and different ways of being, and to discover the strength that exists invulnerability,” Meredith says.

“I also just approached the text from a place of celebration and abundance – the words flowed from there.” 

ASB general manager of marketing Shane Evans says Meredith, who is of Samoan, Irish and Cook Island Maori descent, was perfect for the campaign, offering a unique and intelligent perspective on modern New Zealand.

“Our brief for Courtney was really to highlight the work ASB does across our diverse sponsorships,” Evans says. 

“We have been big supporters of events such as Diwali, Polyfest and Auckland Lantern Festival for a number of years now and we think that’s something worth celebrating.”

ASB brand campaigns manager Emma-Rose Forrester says it was exciting to include ASB’s own people in the ad.

“Everyone highlighted in this piece either works for ASB or is part of our ASB family in some way. I think we have created something really powerful and special.”

Chief creative officer Craig Pethybridge says the idea behind the campaign was around inclusivity, equality and prosperity.

“We wanted the piece to be an anthem for progress, to encompass the feeling of being included, understood and accepted. Because ultimately this is progress for everyone.”

Meredith says the poem spoke to how she felt about the world, adding that there was an alignment of values between herself and ASB.

“We came together to make something special that aims to empower others to be their best selves, I can’t think of a more beautiful kaupapa.” 

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