Kiwibank projects its local message across the country

Kiwibank is continuing to shed light on the importance of choosing a local bank, with the roll-out of a new ‘It’s ours, is it yours?’ TVC, via Assignment Group, as well as a content marketing pop-up on The Spinoff.

The new 45-second video shows Kiwibank customers projected onto the sides of buildings and landmarks around New Zealand, while talking about the appeal of banking with an organisation that keeps its profits local. 

The ad also mentions the changes to the bank’s investor make up, with the New Zealand Super Fund and ACC joining New Zealand Post as a shareholder. With the new support, Kiwibank says its profits will make even more of a difference to New Zealand.

Head of marketing communications and content Regan Savage says the new campaign was launched in time for that announcement because around one third of Kiwis believe it’s important for New Zealand to have a strong locally owned bank. However, not all of these Kiwis are Kiwbank customers, presenting a good opportunity for the bank to extend its customer base.

“It was about using this moment in time to remind them of the importance of backing the local player, whether they are current customers of ours who could do more business with us, or whether they are prospective customers who haven’t yet engaged with Kiwibank.”

A still image of a customer projected onto a caravan also features in the pages of the latest issue of Idealog, on sale this week.

The latest TVC follows a cheeky video released by the bank last week, showing the response of Australians who were told of a new, pretend, bank that operates out of Australia but sends all its profits to New Zealand.

One particularly vocal Aussie said: “that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard”.

And while it plays into the rivalry between the two countries, Savage says it’s more about the choices consumers are making and how there are alternatives in the banking market.

“It was pointing out the situation in New Zealand’s market in a lighthearted, entertaining way.”

He does, however, add that Kiwibank’s four major competitors are owned by Australian corporations.

With both TVCs, Kiwibank hopes it will get Kiwis thinking about the importance of “backing local” in a globalised world, because as consumers they all have the ability to do that.

Further elaborating on that point is a pop-up section on The Spinoff called ‘The New Economy’, which went live on the site last week. It will include a series of editorials as well as videos fronted by economist Shamubeel Eaqub and directed by The Spinoff’s José Barbosa.

Editor Duncan Greive wrote about the two organisations teaming up, and said the topics it will be covering about the economy are critically important to our society, so it has attempted to fill them with the chaos and humour the site is known for.

“…I hope they travel a long way. Kiwibank’s aim and ours is to get our audience to be more conscious in their consumption and think about where the dollars are going, and what they’re fueling,” Greive said.

The first video explored globalisation vs localisation in the New Zealand economy and how it’s about balancing both. There are five more videos to come.

The stories are also supported by a ‘Ticker’, which sits in ad space on the side of the page. It shows the outflow of profit through the big four banks compared to the profit remaining in New Zealand through the locally-owned banking sector. Both numbers are based on Reserve Bank statistics.

It’s another way of bringing to light the fact Kiwis have a choice between choosing a local or an international bank, and Savage adds it was a compelling way of demonstrating the impact that choice has.

Savage says Kiwibank has watched The Spinoff grow over the last couple of years and chose it as the media partner because of its ability to explore a complex issue in a relatable and consumable way.

It was also found to share common ground with the bank in terms of target audience, purpose and belief.

While content marketing is nothing new these days, the wider campaign and its approach to an economic issue continues Kiwibank’s unconventional approach to advertising, particularly when compared to its competitors. Savage says as a brand and a company, Kiwibank is the most relatable bank in New Zealand and that unconventional approach is part of that.

“We don’t want to appear as institutional and I guess if we are going to continue to earn the trust and business of more and more New Zealanders, we have to be true to ourselves and in a way always evolving the ways we talk about ourselves.”

Previous campaigns have seen it partner with YouTube star Jamie Curry, and have Kiwis do the ‘Indepen-dance‘. 


Director: Chris Dudman (Robbers Dog)
Producer: Anna Stuart (Robbers Dog)
Creatives: Howard Greive, Kim Thorp, John Plimmer, Chris Bleackley
Strategy director: Kathryn Robinson 
Business director: Rebecca Toomer
Agency producer: Marty Gray

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