TSB Bank and Special want you to Bank Better

TSB Bank is bringing history back with the launch of a new Special Group-created brand campaign taking aim at Aussie-owned banks and Sir Roger Douglas’ financial policies of the late ’80s.

The ‘Bank Better’ campaign’s central piece tells the story of TSB Bank during the 80’s (then known as Taranaki Savings Bank) – the sole stalwart during the merger of 12 regional banks into Trustee Bank under Roger Douglas’ reign as finance minister. Twelve of the trustee banks would eventually be bought by Australian banks, while TSB remains 100 percent New Zealand owned and operated.

According to creative director Tony Bradbourne the team at Special had
to ask permission from Roger Douglas to use footage of him in the ad. And although he’s technically the villain of the story, Douglas consented.

In 2009, Douglas was complimentary of the bank’s determination and subsequent success: “My reaction to Taranaki Savings Bank wanting to opt out of the trustee bank merger in the mid 1980s and going on their own was that of surprise, and that they were mad… However, they were determined, and they proved that they were right, and good on them – I’m glad they did it.”

Special is TSB’s agency of three years, with this their third brand campaign together (it was the quickest out of the blocks with its ‘Dear National Bank customer‘ campaign when the Black Horse bolted and its last brand campaign featured a nude alien). Special managing partner Michael Redwood says many New Zealanders don’t know of the bank’s history, which stretches back to the 1800s.

“The brief was simple, to attract new customers … People who aren’t customers aren’t aware of the brand or its history and this was an opportunity to rectify that,” he says.

Along with the 60-second launch TVC (via Gregor Nicholas of Flying Fish), Redwood says there are several follow up spots and a billboard & bus outdoor campaign.


National Business Manager, Marketing: Rod Grant
Marketing Manager: Belinda Woofe

Special Group:

Creative Director: Tony Bradbourne
Creative Director: Rob Jack
Managing Partner: Michael Redwood
Producer: Nigel Sutton
Senior Account Director: Julianne Hastings
Account Director: Annabel Rees
Account Manager: Stephanie Lee
Strategist: Rahat Chaudry

Production Company: Flying Fish
Director: Gregor Nicholas
Executive Producer: James Moore
Producer: Penelope Sinclair
Editor: David Coulson
Online Post Production: Mandy VFX
Music: Liquid Studios

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