Portmanteaus abound as DDB trumpets Westpac’s new app

Earlier this month, Westpac released the CashNav, an app that tracks payments from an account and groups them into a range of categories.

The aim of the app is largely to give customers a clearer understanding of where their money is going, and thereby promote more responsible spending habits.

To spread awareness of the app, DDB has rolled out a multi-layered ‘Spendonyms’ campaign, intended to show Kiwis that the money you spend on non-essentials could be your ticket to Fiji (Coff-fiji), that car you’ve been eyeing up (Burg-car), or tickets to the big game (Chug-by).

“The idea borrows from the tradition of word blends,” says DDB executive creative director, Shane Bradnick. 

“Everyone knows what it’s like to feel ‘hangry’ — hungry and angry. Catchy ‘Spendonyms’ like ‘Coff-fiji’ help you realise you’re not just drinking a flat white, you’re drinking part of your Fiji fund.”

The campaign will be active across online video content, online banners, outdoor and social. And DDB is also having a bit of fun with ambient advertising by releasing a range of chopsticks and takeaway cups in selected sushi and coffee shops. 

Westpac head of brand and marketing Oliver Lynch applauded the campaign for not chastising consumers for poor spending habits.

“The Spendonyms campaign was a masterstroke in explaining the value of the app to people in terms they can easily identify with,” Lynch says. “It’s not preaching at you and telling you to scrimp and save, it’s saying ‘hey, you can buy those shoes you want, with the money you have — here’s how.’”

The release of the CashNav app comes at a time when various traditional organisations are tapping into digital technology in a bid to differentiate their offerings.

In her recent exit interview with StopPress, Lightbox chief executive Kym Niblock drew a parallel between banks and telcos, saying that they had essentially become technology companies looking to meet the needs of their consumers.

Incidentally, the launch of the CashNav app comes after Kiwibank decided to discontinue Heaps, a service that similarly aimed to categorise customer spending.

In June, Kiwibank sent the following statement to its customers explaining the reasons for discontinuing the service: “Heaps started well, but in the last few years it’s had issues with stability and functionality and it hasn’t delivered the experience we want you to have. We’ve decided to close Heaps on 1 July and put our efforts into bringing you a better tool.”

Kiwibank is yet to announce a replacement for Heaps, but the move by Westpac clearly indicates that there is value in such a service. And this sentiment is further consolidated by the early performance of the app.   

Within a few days of this soft launch, CashNav was already the number two free app on the NZ App Store, and the number two new free app on the NZ Google Play Store for Android.

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