Ah the past, it’s another country. To celebrate 21 years of the TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards—and to reference the fact there are just 21 days to get your entries into this year’s awards—we’ll be trawling through the archive to bring you 21 winners from the past. First up, the Supreme Winner from 1996, ASB’s Robert the Robot. Has it stood the test of time? You be the judge.
Like a horrible combination of Max Headroom and Jim Hickey, Robert the Robot represented a “watershed” in banking, “breaking the mould” of communications for the category and shattering the cosy set of “me too” advertising. Well, that’s what chief marketing manager Barbara Chapman said. And look what happened to her.
The campaign was done by GestroHorne (remember them!) and cost them about $6 million, the second largest bank spend that year.
Did it work? Well, it may look naff now, but the thinking was spot on. With this campaign ASB seized the ‘bank of the future’ position calling itself ‘Your Future Bank’ which then became ‘Tomorrow’s Bank’ and is now ‘Creating Futures’. Owning the future is always a good idea.
As for 1996, the repositioning helped ASB achieve stellar results:
- Home lending and savings ahead of budget by 75 percent
- Credit cards 150 percent ahead
- Business lending 143 percent ahead
And the punters: they may have loved or loathed it but recognition went through the roof, with ASB having the highest recall of all banks.