Cutting rates and cutting shapes: Kiwibank customers dance like no-one’s watching

Kiwibank has been beating the drum of independence since it was founded in 2001 and it made it very explicit in its last ad when it printed out a bunch of bank records, made them into a huge banner and shouted it from the rooftops. That ad featured a range of proudly independent staff and its next effort, also via Assignment, features proud customers dancing a dance of financial independence.

As it says on the website: “What’s the secret to the indepen-dance? Like any sweet dance-floor move, the trick is feeling good. Being confident. Just going for it. If you long for that feeling of independence, there’s no better place to start than getting to grips with what’s going on in your wallet. No matter where you are on your financial journey, there are steps you can take to go even further.” 

And Kiwibank, like most of its larger competitors, then offers advice—in four sections: make a plan, deal with debt, getting to good and grow your wealth—on how to do just that. 

Kiwibank has convinced customers to endorse the bank before with its Every Revolution needs a Leader campaign. And the stars of the this marketing show are Independent Meat (and some impressively rhythmical dad dancing), Total Cover (and some sweet breakdancing moves) and two new home-owning couples jumping around like spawning salmon. Kiwibank says “this is what financial independence feels like” and it’s obviously trying to show how important its help is if you want to win the human race. But while there’s no doubt your own home is a cause for celebration, it’s fair to say that many new homeowners, particularly in Auckland, probably won’t be dancing joyously at the thought of a mammoth multi-year ‘death pledge’.  

According to Nielsen AIS statistics, which are based on ratecard values, Kiwibank decreased its ad spend by 33 percent to $7.7 million in 2014. This compares to ANZ up two percent to $45 million, TSB up 28 percent to $12.5 million and BNZ down five percent to $11.7 million.

According to financial results for the year ended 30 June 2014, Kiwibank operates accounts for 860,000 customers out of a total banking market of 3.6 million.

Kiwibank has also been promoting its sponsorship of the New Zealander of the Year awards, with John Kirwan, Stephen Tindall and Julie Chapman named as finalists


Client – Kiwibank
Nicky Ashton  – GM Marketing
Regan Savage – Head of Marketing Communications & Content
Vesna Nixon  – Personal Marketing Lead
Lisa Campbell – Business & Specialists Marketing Lead
Julianne Livingston – Campaign Manager

Agency – Assignment Group
John Plimmer – Creative
Chris Bleackley – Creative
Kim Thorpe – Creative
Howard Grieve – Creative
Rebecca Toomer – GAD
Kathryn Robinson – Planner
Juliet Dreaver – TV Producer

Production company – Flying Fish
Greg Paige – Director
Kerin Casey – Producer

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