Year in Review: Michael Healy

With fewer competitors, a new agency, the departure of some senior staff, a range of marketing initiatives and a new brand campaign, it was a big year for Westpac. Senior brand manager Michael Healy shares his thoughts. 

1) Favourite campaign that isn’t yours

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3393O1uD_w8I think if
I’ve got the choice of anything in the world this year, then I’ve got a long
list of work I really like. But I opt
for the Canal+ Bear TVC as a single piece of work. No idea what else they did

Run here, the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign was pervasive, charming, and simple.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_F0KUB0puoMade here I’d pick
Tommy and Boris from Telecom. Whether
you love the campaign or not, having worked on that piece of business I’ve long
thought it was time the two sides of the Telecom brand were bought together
under one cohesive campaign again. Strong bit of planning and solid creative won the day.

2) Favourite campaign that is yours

We have done so many things this year. Planted poppy fields, thrown a surprise party for Sophie Pascoe, launched
what we think is the best home-buyers website in the country (HomeClub),
totally reworked Chopper and scored a couple of Effies, made a mural out of the
famous Red Socks, had an ad in the pocket for ANZ/National Bank merger and even
had a campaign around some Justin Bieber tickets that attracted plenty of


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jetwWuZHxETop of the
list though, thanks to a big push from DDB, Rapp Tribal and Starcom, was the
launch of our ‘Start Asking’ brand campaign. From the big emotional TV piece, right down to
a totally cohesive digital layer and everything in between followed with the hilarious ‘flatmates’ housing campaign, it’s been fun and the standout for me.

3) Least favourite

It’s not good
form to talk about campaigns in our own category, so I’ll decline to answer
this one.

4) Best brand

Westpac aside,
I’ve mentioned Coke and they’d be my pick due to stand out back half of the
year. Vodafone is runner up for the way they handled the ‘wrong number’ twist
of fate, and tackled a couple of other telcos head on more than once. Always have a
soft spot for marketing teams and agencies that can show real agility.

Honourable mention to AA Insurance. That campaign is heading in the right
direction and the billboards are great.

Best stoush

have to opt for one of our in-house creative review meetings that got pretty
heated to say the least. It was eye opening but you have to love the passion.

6) Heroes

.99 were
caught in the crossfire between clients but continued to deliver great work.
They handled a tough year with style. Maybe also the team behind the Shopping Channel. Not often you see people in
this game put their own money behind something they really believe in. Whether it works out in the end or not, I
respect the courage to go for it.

7) Villains

I don’t really
like picking villains but with tongue in cheek, our former colleague Ian Moody
might fill the role. Marketer of the Year at Westpac then off to the
competition before the award is even handed over. 

8) Most memorable
marketing moment

The ‘swap a
ginger for a ginger
’ campaign was bit of a classic. The copywriting may have been quite barbed on
the release, but once again it was a case of everyone up in arms over something
that was just out for a bit of a laugh. I
can see how some could take offence, but I’m hoping as a country we can save
our sense of humour.

9) A few predictions for 2013

loving what we’re doing and it seems to be resonating with the people who
matter most—customers—so, who knows, maybe Westpac can give it a good nudge
for best brand this year. Oh, and of
course someone will say traditional media is dead. It just wouldn’t be a year in
marketing if we didn’t have that.

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