Westpac shows ‘It’s time’ all the time—UPDATED


Westpac has released the next stage of its ‘It’s time’ campaign by DDB, which promotes its 24-hour Smart ATMs, aimed at those who would benefit from late-night banking.

The ad is a change in tone and pace from its last, more serious ad with Richie McCaw and is directed towards those who might need to do their banking at less conventional hours, such as the owner of a food caravan.

The ad, dubbed ‘We do night shifts too’, has an international feel, fuelled by a jazzy soundtrack. In fact, at first glance, it takes a while to recognise the setting as New Zealand.*

The spot shows the hustle and bustle of Auckland city at night, showing that it’s still very much still awake until the early hours—and therefore, so is Westpac.

A voiceover at the end of the clip says: “New Zealand doesn’t close at five anymore. So at Westpac, you can now bank 24/7.”

The TVC has been released in 30-second and 15-second executions.

According to Westpac’s website its ‘Smart ATMs’, located in several of its 24/7 lobbies allow the bank’s customers to deposit cash (including coins) and cheques into any Westpac account and the money will generally appear right away.

It also says customers and small business owners can easily switch notes for rolled coins and $5 and $10 notes.

Original story: It’s time: Richie McCaw and Westpac call for action, 5 February

Westpac has released a new brand campaign via DDB featuring long-time ambassador Richie McCaw in what is a more serious and direct approach for the bank compared to some of its previous ads, but its outdoor advertising shows it’s not losing its sense of humour. 

The hero TVC, launched this week is dubbed ‘It’s time’ and features Richie McCaw running backwards through a beautiful forest setting in Queenstown, almost as if he is being forced to run backwards by an invisible, immovable force.

A voiceover says that if you don’t use time in your favour, you will only go backwards. McCaw then suddenly starts powerfully running forwards. The ad ends with the tagline ‘It’s time’.

The new ‘It’s time’ proposition was launched as part of a full new brand refresh for Westpac, evident in the TVC and category advertisements, out of home and online advertising, all with a new message, look and feel, brand line and logo.

A Westpac release says the ad is about encouraging Kiwis to stop using time as an excuse and get on with what’s important. “Whether it’s buying a house, starting a business or travelling overseas, or simply completing a small goal like drafting a budget, we want to excite Kiwis about what’s possible and help customers to get on with the big and the small decisions,” says Westpac head of brand and marketing Oliver Lynch.

“How often do you tell yourself you ‘don’t have time’ to do that thing you want to do or ‘someday you’ll get around to it’? To move forward in life you need to start taking action. So, at Westpac, we’ve decided to focus on encouraging New Zealanders to do just this.”

DDB executive creative director Shane Bradnick says the overall approach is to be a little more direct. “Particularly if the new positioning line is ‘It’s time’ that is in itself is a call to action and letting people know to stop putting things off.”

He says the idea was to use McCaw, as he’s achieved so much at just 34. “He could have easily stopped after the first world cup but he kept going forward, he’s never really used time as an excuse, and even though he’s retired from rugby he’s still achieving things.”

McCaw running in the hero TVC has been used as a metaphor, he says. “Essentially it’s just Richie running but you need to create a bit of drama out of that. The backwards and forwards is a nice metaphor for time standing still and that was a metaphor for thinking about where we are and what we’re doing.”

He says the copy for the voiceover also reflects the backwards and forwards movement in the clip and symbolises time. “As the pictures move forward, the script is reversed, turning every negative statement into a positive one. If we just look at it in a different way, it can be motivational. So we’re taking it to a higher ground in terms of emotional connection.”

Bradnick says he hopes DDB and Westpac used Richie in a more surprising way. “We wanted to use him in a way that felt relevant. And he’s been with Westpac for quite a while and he seems like the kind of guy who lives by this philosophy in his own life so hopefully people can connect,” he says.

There is another TVC which is a more simplified, graphic and light-hearted version of the same message. “ … we plan to keep rolling those out and get a simple to-the-point structure, showing that time is quite short and so it’s more to the point and we’ll keep rolling those out but for the moment, the Richie spot will be the one to hero the whole campaign.”

Westpac and DDB have also released outdoor advertising which has a more light-hearted and humorous approach. For example, one of the billboards reads: “Not a saver? Fine. We can help you waste your money more wisely.”

Bradnick says Westpac has been a fun bank to work with. “We have done some fun stuff in the past and they have always been really interesting to work with.”

** Turns out this impression was quite accurate (see comment below).

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