In with the blue: ANZ and TBWA\ bank on the power of two—UPDATED

The fusing of two financial entities that between them have nearly half of the population on their books is a massive—and massively complicated—task, both logistically in terms of back-end systems and emotionally in terms of assuaging customers’ fears through communications. It’s been in the planning for a while, of course, and in response to yesterday’s official announcement that ANZ would be phasing out the National Bank over the next two years, Whybin\TBWA is about to launch a big integrated campaign that “heralds the start of a new era for ANZ and reassures customers they will be getting the best of both worlds”. 

  • Check out the NZ Marketing cover story that looks at the black stallion’s trip to the knacker’s yard and what treasures might be on the table for the other banks here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nwbuzrfvKEThe campaign is spearheaded by a TVC, which will be going to air tonight, that illustrates the change through the eyes of a National Bank customer and his trusty Huntaway, perhaps an indication that National Bank’s stronghold in the provinces and rural sector is where the biggest battle for customers could be waged. 

According to a release: “While the customer notices the branch frontage has switched from green to blue and is initially taken aback, his dog (unperturbed) takes things in his stride, seeing only the same friendly staff member who’s always greeted him, and that’s all that matters to the faithful hound. The customer registers his dog’s reaction and is put at ease, therefore illustrating the most important things haven’t changed at all.” 

In addition to the TVC—which was shot by Exposure and is another addition to the recent glut of animals in advertising—the campaign comprises press, digital, radio and outdoor. The press ads show the faces of real staff members from ANZ and the National Bank to let customers know that while ‘We’re changing the face of banking’, the ANZ isn’t changing the faces at its bank.

A website has been created by TBWA’s newly rebranded Digital Arts Network to alert customers to the change, let them know what it will mean for them and offer answers to their FAQs. And, in keeping with the bank’s recent strategy of better connecting with New Zealanders through splashing cash on sponsorship properties like the Rugby World Cup, the Olympics (including gold-medal winning ambassadors Eric Murray and Hamish Bond) and the trans-Tasman netball competition, it’s gone heavy on the quintessentially Kiwi imagery.  

“The coming together of the ANZ and the National Bank brands has been a major project for the agency and was a unique opportunity to farewell one of the country’s most respected brands and signal a new era in banking,” says Andy Blood, executive creative director. “It’s a significant event in the history of New Zealand banking and follows the successful repositioning of the ANZ brand over the past 18 months. The network has been doing a lot of work with ANZ to elevate its profile even further including the ‘Patrick Jane’ TV campaign, numerous local campaigns and leveraging ANZ’s sponsorship of the Olympic team.” 

“We have a solid and longstanding history of providing leading campaigns for the financial sector,” says chief executive David Walden. “This was a rare opportunity to mark a special moment in time as we pay homage to a well-loved and respected banking brand. We felt privileged to be involved in such an important moment in New Zealand’s banking history and this is a campaign that we’re very proud of.” 

DraftFCB’s executive creative director James Mok wasn’t able to comment about what this decision means for its relationship with the bank, and put us on to ANZ. And head of retail marketing Matt Pickering confirmed DraftFCB is effectively doing the job of Rapp Tribal after it said goodbye to the account when DDB shacked up with Westpac. SparkPHD is the media agency. 

According to the official ANZ release, thenew ANZ will remain in all communities now served by ANZ and National Bank; $100 million will be spent on branches, with branch presence in New Zealand increasing from 75 percent of where New Zealanders live to 90 percent (or 15 new communities); ANZ will adopt The National Bank’s technology system and the majority of its products; customers will continue to be served by the same staff and all frontline staff will remain with the new ANZ; and all sponsorship and community involvement commitments will continue. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNxsc5XtvX4Chief executive David Hisco will be certainly be busy explaining all the changes. He’s filmed the above video, he’s live on ANZ’s Facebook page this afternoon to answer questions and a message was sent out to all National Bank customers last night:  

There’s some news I wanted to personally share with you as soon as possible.

The National Bank and ANZ are coming together under one brand, ANZ. We’re combining The National Bank’s track record of outstanding service, award-winning products and great Internet Banking, with ANZ’s size, reach and specialist expertise.

Quite simply we are taking the best of both The National Bank and ANZ to build the new ANZ.

Our commitment to providing great customer service won’t change.

The staff you deal with will continue to serve you just as they do now.

In fact, more recently we’ve introduced The National Bank service model to ANZ to ensure all our customers enjoy the same outstanding service. 

As a National Bank customer, you’ll find most things stay the same.

All the things you value from The National Bank will be part of the new ANZ. The most noticeable difference will simply be the change of colour.

The new ANZ will also use the National Bank technology system – and soon all our customers will be sharing the same award-winning products. 

There’s nothing you need to do.

You will be able to carry on doing your banking just as you do now and you will start to see these changes from the end of October onwards.

You’ll soon receive more information.

We’re writing to all National Bank customers to let them know what’s happening. So keep an eye on your mailbox. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the changes, please call in to your nearest branch or visit us online.

By coming together, we’ll be able to do more to help you succeed than either brand could do on its own. We’re excited about the future and hope you will be too.



Executive Creative Director – Andy Blood

Agency Producers – Megan Robertson and Jackie Clarke

Group Head – Jodi Willocks

Senior Account Director – Frith Morrissey


Production Company – Exposure

Director – Kevin Denholm

Producer – Jozsef Fityus


Client – ANZ Bank

Head of Marketing – Mike Cunnington

Head of Retail Marketing – Matthew Pickering

Senior Marketing Manager – Erin Dudding

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