Westpac’s bickering oldies usurp the throne once again with Ad Impact win

‘Flatties’, the entertaining home loan-related follow-up to Westpac’s ‘Start Asking’ brand campaign by DDB and Prodigy, managed to beat out its big brother in the Jan/Feb instalment of Campaign Review in NZ Marketing magazine after taking second place. And it’s followed that up by winning the November round of the Colmar Brunton Ad Impact Award. 


The wider brand campaign kicked off by encouraging New Zealanders to start asking the big questions about money. It then began answering some of those questions via a series of YouTube videos featuring Westpac staff. And one of the most commonly asked questions through its Facebook App was ‘what do I need for a house of my own?’, hence this ad.  

“We set out to break away from the typical bank ‘house buying lifestyle scenes’ and use a bit of hyperbole and humour to engage consumers on a more empathetic level,” says DDB NZ’s managing director Justin Mowday. “It’s great to see that working.” 

The ad also made it into the ‘Going Up’ section in the Sunday Star Times magazine and it debuted at No.7 in AdMedia’s Favourite Ad survey in December, having been on air at low media weights for only two weeks. 

“When we were looking at our brand and the category we saw a lot of ‘dream home’, ‘small business takes over the world’ and ‘take a trip overseas’ out there,” says Michael Healy, Westpac’s senior brand manager. “We thought there was space for a bank to break out of the boring procession of carbon-copy communications and in talking to the DDB Group we decided that we wanted to run with some of the insights that banks have not used before and introduce them with some humour.So far it looks like that’s working. We’re getting amazing tracking on individual executions that has shown the complete left turn in our ads has been the right thing to do and has made our communications worth talking about.” 

Beyond that, he says the key brand tracking metrics show the cumulative effect of the work so far is pushing the bank in the right direction. And most importantly, he says the staff love the humour aspect and are right behind the work, right down to setting up flats in a branch in Tauranga. 

“The clever use of humour in this campaign aids the strong impact it has with consumers,” says Colmar Brunton’s senior account manager Harriet Dixon. “The story is engaging the consumer, drawing them in and making them want to watch. With talkability particularly high, it’s certainly one to get consumers tongues wagging.”



ECD: Andy Fackrell

Copywriter: Jay Hunt/ Pete Gosselin

Art Director: Jay Hunt/ Pete Gosselin

Agency Producer: Rosie Grayson

Executive TV Producer: Judy Thompson

Group Business Director: Zoe Alden

Account Director: Jenny Travers

Account Manager: Oliver Gould

Planner: Rupert Price

Production Company: Prodigy

Director: Tim Bullock

Producer: Jack Sainte-Rose

Editor: Adam Willis

DOP: Garry Phillips

Sound: Jon Cooper

Post Production: Toybox

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