Kiwibank assembles its craziest staff dancers for next phase of ‘Indepen-dance’ campaign

Most people have that private dance that they turn on when no one is looking. It’s generally typified by an awkward shuffle that stutters its way across the floor to the beat of whatever sound might be playing in the background. Music is optional, and in most cases the elaborate dance moves are brought to a neck-breaking halt if any spectators—beyond the most trusted—suddenly appear on the scene.

However, over the last year, Kiwibank has through its ‘Indepen-dance’ campaign given these private dance moves the exposure they deserve. And for the latest iteration of the campaign, the bank has turned to its employees for content.        

Why are our Kiwibankers jamming? They’re stoked to be green lighting your future independence plans.

Posted by Kiwibank on Saturday, 12 September 2015

“We did a casting call internally,” says Regan Savage, the head of marketing comms and content at Kiwibank. “We looked for the people who are best at engaging with the camera, but also those that have really quirky dances.”

The latest phase of the campaign was rolled out on Sunday night, and features a range of delightfully elaborate moves from the Kiwibank crew dressed in their uniforms. 

“Assignment, our agency, have driven the concept of using our own customers and our own staff, because they understand that you can’t cast for the individuality that you get from someone like Colin the butcher with his two kids,” says Savage in reference to one of the videos that emerged during the early stages of the campaign. “I think with the Indepen-dance ads you have a degree of quirkiness and originality that no agency could ever script for.”

This drive for authenticity is also evident in the recent KB series, which the bank has been running with YouTube star Jamie Currie. 


And while the new clip is largely a continuation of the earlier ‘Indepen-dance’ videos, Savage says that the latest phase of the campaign marks a shift in focus.    

“The first series of advertisements was all about the big things, like retiring and having your own business or about getting into your first home. And this next crop of ads is about taking small step in terms of taking control of your money. We want New Zealanders to be really deliberate about their decisions around their money, because they only stand to gain from doing it. It’s kind of like going to gym, in the sense that you can never be worse off doing some exercise. You can only ever improve. And it’s the same thing with people’s relationships with money. We have this purpose of making Kiwis better off. And we want to bring that to life in a way that engages people and helps make our business relevant to them. It all comes back to the feeling of independence that we want to help New Zealanders get.”

The inclusion of staff in the marketing activities is also important for Kiwibank in terms of its internal comms. By giving ordinary staff members a starring role in the campaign, it encourages the overarching team to invest in the bank’s strategy. 

James Mok, FCB’s regional executive creative director for Asia-Pacific, recently touched on this issue during the launch of Vodafone’s ‘Piggy Sue’ campaign, saying that agencies should also place emphasis on internal comms when laying out their strategies. 

“Staff engagement is a huge part of what communications needs to do to galvanise an organisation,” said Mok at the time. “For the organisation to be joined up and believing in its purpose is a really important part of it. A lot of advertising tends to focus on external audiences, and yet the internal audience is just as important.”  

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