Y&R chalks up another win with The Co-operative Bank—UPDATED

After coming close in a few big pitches recently, Y&R had cause for celebration when it was named as Westfield’s new partner last week. And it’s backed that up with another win: The Co-operative Bank. 

Y&R, which won the business without a pitch, takes over from small Wellington agency Eleven and it will handle brand and retail creative and media planning and buying. It’s thought the media spend is somewhere around the $4 million mark, but that’s expected to grow. 

UPDATE: Nielsen AIS data

2010                     1,281,151 (as PSIS)

2011                     1,397,770

2012                     2,112,421

2013 (Jan-Feb)    1,078,631

“2013 is going to be a milestone year for The Co-operative Bank,” says Sadhana Raman, general manager marketing and online and ex-Kiwi Bank marketing maven. “We were looking for an agency to help us achieve our ambitions. We reviewed the market, did an initial assessment of possible options, and concluded that Y&R NZ were absolutely the right partners for us – in terms of alignment in values, their approach and undoubted capability. We were also impressed with the extent to which they shared our passion for the exciting potential in our brand.”


Executive creative director Josh Moore says The Co-operative Bank, which is based in Wellington and rebranded from PSIS in 2011 when it became a registered bank, is “like Kiwibank in the beginning but with a better story to tell”. He says Kiwibank, which has long focused on its Kiwi provenance and tried to stick it to the Aussies, has basically become just another commercial bank that needs to make money for its owners (it also just won an award for being New Zealand’s best bank), but he says there is a real point of difference with The Co-Operative Bank because it is owned by its customers. 

“It’s not just a different colour,” he says.

The bank has largely focused on print advertising since the rebrand, with a campaign centred around its New Zealand ownership and the fact that it’s 100 percent owned by its customers, as well as a series of print ads showing collectors with their various hauls.  


However, it did get a slap on the wrist from the ASA last year for calling itself New Zealand’s first co-operative bank (SBS is also a co-operative but gained bank accreditation in 2008). 

While Moore didn’t want to give too much away, he says there will be a bigger focus on above-the-line activity. 

“There will be a definite change in the media channels. And the brand will be more aggressive.”

Like Kiwibank? 

“Yes, but it’s got a different story to tell,” he says. “It’s not so much about being New Zealand-owned, it’s about being owned by New Zealanders.”

James Hurman, Y&R’s managing director says the bank has a genuine sense of purpose, point of difference and truly ambitious leadership. 

“Because of those qualities we’d been attracted to The Co-operative Bank for some time, and we couldn’t be more excited about our new partnership.”

It’s thought Y&R also has another win to announce in the coming weeks and it is continuing to pitch.

About Author

Comments are closed.