Money never sleeps: BNZ launches chapter two of its ‘Be Good with Money’ story

We live in an increasingly cashless world, with EFTPOS, online banking and various mobile apps making money more of a number on a screen than a wad of notes in your pocket. But for its follow up to the big tease that was BNZ’s ‘Be Good With Money’, the bank and its agency Colenso BBDO have decided to focus on the story—and the power—of a dollar.

BNZ’s chief marketing officer Craig Herbison says it’s a continuation of the journey it began last year to get New Zealand thinking and talking about money. 

“As a nation, we’re not very good with money. And we believe banks should help.” 

He says the initial research showed just nine percent of New Zealanders were confident with money and 86 percent felt they needed to manage it better. That informed the initial brand position, which aimed to differentiate the bank by showing that it had a point of view.

“If we don’t manage our money better we don’t get those outcomes the other banks are talking about, like creating futures or going places,” he says. So now that the brand has been bedded in he feels like BNZ is starting to own that space. And it’s resonating with the nation, he says, with the bank going from last to second behind Kiwibank in terms of consideration—and that’s with just 11 percent share of voice.

He says there’s been an additional $150 million spent in this category due to the merger of ANZ and National and new brand campaigns for ASB, Westpac and Kiwibank, but “even in the face of that it has weathered those headwinds”. 

“So what that says to me is the story is resonating and that it’s not category generic … From a brand positioning point of view I think we’ve absolutely got the right story.”

He says it’s also become more than advertising. It’s resonated with the retail side of the business as well and its 5,500 staff believe in the sentiment behind the campaign and want to help customers be good with money.

Some have accused the ‘Be Good with Money’ campaign of being slightly schizophrenic, jumping from the big launch ad to the animated product spots to a morbid song. As a point of comparison, ANZ has kept it pretty simple, clear and consistent and it’s spent a lot of money to drum home its messages. But Herbison points to a quote that says “consumers build brands like birds build nests”. 

“A brand can be built in many different ways and I think that’s an interesting thought. We don’t want everything to be the same, but equally we want something to tie it all together.”

He says it wanted to provoke New Zealand into the story with the teaser campaign and then substantiate it. Some seemed to expect that substantiation would come immediately. But Herbison says this is a long-term strategy and points out that it has promoted its Total Money, YouMoney and Kiwisaver products so far. 

In the case of Kiwisaver, he says it was one of the last to market with that particular product, so it needed to do something quite provocative. And he says the ‘work til you die’ campaign had some great cut-through. 

Now he says the brand and marketing is informing the products and services the bank is building and how it takes them to market. The release of YouMoney, the online banking platform that won the innovation award at the TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards, is a good example of its approach. It launched a simple version and then regularly added to it and he says this product has led to 35,000 new customers, created great brand lift and changed the bank’s perception in the eyes of the tough-to-impress youth market.

“The number one driver of preference is products and services”. And he says it has worked hard to create those—and try to create some real difference for consumers.

“We’re starting that conversation now and delivering on it … We want to stay the course.”

Colenso BBDO’s creative chairman Nick Worthington says after showing that ‘money is neither good or bad, it’s what you do with it that counts’, he says the logical next step was to look at the physical aspects of money, like “how it moves and how it behaves”.

“We think it’s gone, but it keeps on going. If you keep it in one place, it can’t do any good.” 

Money is inherently interesting, and yet it’s also something of a taboo. Worthington says that makes it a strange combination, so this ad is about showing the enduring appeal of a one dollar coin, something seen clearly and simply in the double-page print ads that show the joy on the face of a small boy with a dollar in his hand. 

“Sometimes as you get older you lose the excitement of the tangibility of money,” he says. “I wonder how many kids will be putting their hands down the couch this weekend.”

Worthington says it learned that the “level of engagement can be really high if you do something interesting”. People like stories, they can relate to them, he says, and the same philosophy applies to this ad.

The launch ad was filmed in Los Angeles and it received some flak for the supposed hypocrisy of a bank with NZ in its name claiming to be interested in improving the nation’s financial standing and then not supporting a local production company. Herbison says this was necessary because it wanted a cinematic scale that it couldn’t create here and it also needed to keep it secret. Chapter two, however, has a much more local look and feel (although it was also shot by Australian company Revolver). 

The ad launches on Sunday and over the next 18 months Herbison says “there will be scenes from the ad that will be expanded to show things that help you to be good with money.”



Craig Herbison, Chief Marketing Officer

Rob Cooke, Head of Marketing Communications

Sera Flint, Head of Marketing – Brand

Robert Orr, Campaign Manager


Nick Worthington, Creative Chairman

Mike Davison, Head of Art

Aaron Turk, Digital Creative Director

Jen Storey, Head of Broadcast

Nick Garrett, Managing Director

Sarah Williams, Business Director

Jillian Stanton, Group Account Director

Deborah Simpson, Strategist

Ruth Blair, Planner

Ruth Allen, Senior Account Manager

Arielle Zadok, Project Manager

James McMullan, Digital Producer

Matt Couston, Producer

Paul Gunn, Head of Activation & PR


Michael Ritchie, Managing Director/Executive Producer

Pip Smart, Executive Producer/Producer

The Glue Society – Gary Freedman, Director

Geoffrey Simpson, DOP


Peter Sciberras, Editor


Billy Becket, Executive Producer


Jon Cooper, Sound Design

WOODWORK MUSIC, Music Composition

Alistair Guthrie, Stills Photographer,


Penelope Burns, Media Director

Jeremy Hooper, Media Planner

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