BNZ gives mortgagors a dose of cold, hard (potential) reality

BNZ has released a depressingly confronting campaign called ‘Shred my mortgage’ via Colenso BBDO, which includes two TVCs of a man and woman in their twilight years who are still working laborious jobs to pay off their mortgages.

One TVC features an older woman, past retirement age who has a night shift cleaning an office where she dusts, wipes and straps a vacuum cleaner to her back, before text appears reading ’53 more pay days until I’m mortgage-free’.

The other TVC has an older man working as a courier driver. The clip shows him lifting heavy packages, walking up long flights of stairs and looking around for an address, confused, amongst busy city streets before he finally sits down for a cup of tea. A message then appears “Five more years until I’m mortgage-free”.

A BNZ release says the campaign is an extension of the bank’s promise to help New Zealanders be good with money.

BNZ director of retail and marketing Craig Herbison says the campaign is one which boldly confronts New Zealanders about the age they’ll be when they’re mortgage-free.

“The campaign is deliberately hard-hitting. We wanted a wake-up call to get people thinking about the end date of their mortgage and how they can start shredding their mortgages sooner,” he says.

“Too often the focus is on getting people into a home loan – not helping them get out of one. At BNZ we want to do both and this campaign gets people thinking and gives them the tools to assess their own situation and show them how BNZ can help them pay off their home loan faster.”

The release says people can visit shredmymortgage.co.nz and see the amount of time and money they can shred off their mortgage by choosing a tailored home loan.

The site includes an online calculator, which helps customers to look into their personal situation and see the stark reality of their position and what $40 more a fortnight can do to a $300,000 mortgage.

“We want to get people talking about the long term implications of the way they manage their mortgage, and what that means for their retirement age,” says Herbison.

Colenso BBDO’s Wayne Pick says the agency recruited New Zealanders in their 70s to appear in a series of TV, print and digital ads asking ‘How long until you’re mortgage-free?’

The campaign will continue to roll out over the coming weeks and we will update this article accordingly.

Last year, in an effort to show that Kiwis who hold mortgages pay $6 million in interest every four hours, BNZ launched a campaign via Colenso BBDO (of which the current campaign is an extension) in which that amount of money was shredded and put on display in Auckland’s Aotea Square from September 29 to October 1.

The outdoor activation was supported across various channels, with a TVC, a Facebook campaign and YouTube clips that all used the shredded money as a provocative reminder of the amount of money that Kiwis burn through their mortgage repayments every day.    

BNZ’s ‘Shred my home loan’ campaign, launched in October 2014, just won a Gold award at the Spikes – considered one of the most prestigious creative awards for the APAC region. In July this year, the campaign also picked up two awards at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

BNZ also went dark with another campaign launched in March 2013 working the cheery lyrics “I’m gonna work til I die” into its Kiwisaver ad campaign by Colenso BBDO. 

There was a different ad for builders, dentists, cleaners and management types, with the lyrics for the minute-long songs reflecting the challenges of each profession.

“I’m gonna be a builder til I’m 94, knocking down walls and laying floors.”

BNZ’s site featured the Work Til You Die campaign with a page showing Kiwisaver information and a handy sign up button for customers to get onto the bank’s scheme.

The ads portrayed a bleak outlook that many New Zealanders would have to face, argued BNZ.

“There’s no guarantee that New Zealand Superannuation will provide for you at its current levels when it’s your time to retire”, its website said.

  • This story’s original headline mistakenly referred to mortgagors as mortgagees.

Credits (for current campaign):

Client: BNZ 
Agency: Colenso BBDO/Proximity NZ 
Production Company: Thick as Thieves 
Director: Zoe McIntosh 
Executive producer: Nik Beachman 
Sound design: The Coopers

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