Westpac shares a day in the life of a tinfoil hat man

Westpac has unleashed a delightfully awkward, tinfoil-hat-wearing protagonist in a new spot that aims to show that contactless payments are so secure that even the most paranoid person in existence would be okay with using them.      

“With all our data being captured and movements being monitored these days, the truth is we all have a bit of our paranoid tinfoil hat-wearing hero in us,” says DDB executive creative director Shane Bradnick. “Westpac has always used humour to show the these truths about ourselves we never really want to admit. So, while CardGuard may not stop our internet usage being monitored, at least we can use our cards without having to worry so much about them being skimmed, scammed or scanned.”

Over the course of the one-minute DDB-created ad, the Big Brother-fearing character is shown shying away from surveillance cameras, disinfecting his desk, reading a book on mind control, wearing plastic over his shoes and running away from a crow. And yet, despite being fully consumed by fear, he is still willing to make a contactless payment with his Westpac bank card.

The spot draws attention to CardGuard initiative that’s designed to offer protection to customers who regularly make electronic payments.

The bank’s website has been updated with a section that explains all the mechanisms in place to ensure that customers aren’t victims of fraud. In addition to the protection provided by the Westpac Online Guardian system, which flags suspicious activities, the bank also provides a series of steps that customers can take to keep their information secure. 

Such security mechanisms are particularly important given the growing risk of cyber crime.

“Cyber crime is a $445 billion a year illegal business, more than drugs, arms and human trafficking combined, according to online security provider, McAfee,” says a Westpac spokesperson. [And] according to the Ministry of Justice, 70 percent of Kiwi adults have been victims of attempted cyber crime.” 

These worrying stats when combined with the release of contactless payments had upped the ante on public concern about the safety electronic payment methods. And with the concern, several rumours have started swirling around. Some, like those published on the Illuminati News website are bit more far-fetched, while others pinpoint concerns of many Kiwis, who fear that their bank accounts might be compromised.

However, the spokesperson says that sophisticated Wetpac security system is fully capable of keeping customers’ savings safe. Westpac’s fraud detection has comprehensive 24/7 measures and controls in place to prevent and detect crime, and when alerted to transactions that look unusual compared to normal spending history, or that match current fraud trends on credit cards, our team of experts will assess these alerts and further action will be taken where fraud is suspected,” the spokesperson says.

To reassure customers that the banking system is secure, Westpac has also added a section to its site titled Busting Myths,’ which addresses five common concerns that customers regularly express. Each ‘myth’ is then afforded a brief explanation that aims to unravel the misconception.


In addition to this spot, DDB also developed a second quirky spot that shows the character sitting in his living room with a grossly over-sized satellite that he has presumably spent far too much money on.         



Head of Brand & Marketing: Oliver Lynch
Mass Marketing Director: Andrew Twidle
Product Delivery Manager: Anna Hodgson

DDB Group New Zealand
Chief Creative Officer: Damon Stapleton
Executive Creative Director: Shane Bradnick
Senior Copywriter: Natalie Knight
Senior Art Director: Corinne Goode
Managing Partner: Elizabeth Beatty
Account Director: Mark Wilson
Senior Account Manager: Deepika Goundar
Account Executive: Kate Coppersmith
Planning Director: Rupert Price
Executive Producer: Judy Thompson
Agency TV Producer: Samantha Royal
Production Company: Scoundrel
Director: Tim Bullock
Executive Producer: Adrian Shapiro

DOP: John Toon
Production Designer: Neville Stevenson
Offline Editor: Adam Wills
Online: Blockhead
Sound Design: The Coopers
Music: ‘Somebody’s watching me’ by Rockwell
Licensing: Jonathan Hughes, Franklin Rd

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