Droga5 makes first big deposit

ASB has scratched its 12 year itch, after long-time incumbent TBWA\ was ousted by new (but old) boys on the block, Droga5. 

ASB general manager brand and marketing Deborah Simpson wasn’t talking about the change of agencies or about the future of Goldstein, but said in a release that ASB received some outstanding creative ideas during the pitch process and that the team at Droga5 stood out for their innovative and fresh approach.

Droga5 chief Andrew Stone couldn’t be reached either but it seems at least one client seems to agree with his own claims about Droga5 doing things differently and giving the traditional advertising model a shake up.

Of course, aside from the universal thrill we get from seeing the old face off against the new, one of the juicer bits of this story is that Simpson used to be on the agency side with TBWA working on the ASB account before she decided to shack up with the client. Also interesting is this rather inappropriate ad placement below the Herald story about the usurping of the ASB throne.

“We are entering a new phase for our brand, and Droga5 offers us a different perspective, together with a team of very talented individuals with excellent credentials,” she says. “Droga5 partners Andrew Stone, Mike O’Sullivan and Jose Alomajan have the industry experience and creativity we are seeking to deliver the ASB brand into the future.”

Simpson said the positive relationship with TBWA had helped to build ASB into one of New Zealand’s strongest brands (according to Perceptive’s latest Attitude New Zealand survey, the top of mind bank contest went to Kiwibank with 22 percent, followed by ASB with 20 percent and Westpac with 16 percent, although ASB continues to stand out in the minds of New Zealanders aged 15-24 at 33 percent).

“TBWA have undeniably created one of New Zealand’s most loved and recognised advertising campaigns,” she says. “They have laid down an excellent foundation from which ASB can now build further successful campaigns.”

David Walden, chief executive of the TBWA\ group was also tight-lipped but and said in a release that the agency is immensely proud of the work it has produced for ASB over the years, “especially the creation of one of the country’s most loved and recognisable advertising icons, Ira Goldstein.” But he says its contribution to ASB has been bigger than the bumbling New York banker, who first hit screens in 2000, has featured in more than 60 commercials, won the People’s Choice AXIS Advertising Award three years in a row and was the most recognised ad campaign on TV in 2007 according to Nielsen.

“The body of work we have delivered across every conceivable channel has contributed significantly to the growth and development of ASB as a brand and a business. Twelve years is a long time, however. It’s almost unprecedented in our industry, and there has been a considerable amount of change at ASB in the last few months. Their decision to appoint a new agency is a reflection of that change. It goes without saying that we’re disappointed, but life goes on. As an agency, we’re looking forward to developing future relationships and continuing to share the wealth of expertise and experience we have in the financial sector. We wish ASB all the best for their new journey.”

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