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The falcon flies again – ANZ’s masterful lesson on the power of nostalgia

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The falcon flies again – ANZ’s masterful lesson on the power of nostalgia

ANZ's nostalgia falcon

Nostalgia marketing is not easy to achieve. You must evoke a sense of memory, connection and emotion but often this can only come with time – and from an experience long ago that today’s marketers may have had no hand in creating. So why did ANZ’s ‘DoppelFalcons’ campaign cut through? Marketing Mag spoke with the teams behind the ad to find out why.

Centred around the iconic Falcon, ANZ’s ‘DoppelFalcons’ campaign marks the strategic revival of a familiar friend – albeit with a modern twist. 

For over a decade, the ANZ Falcon has soared as a symbol of security and vigilance. Since its debut in 2006, the campaign has been synonymous with ANZ’s commitment to protecting its customers from fraud and scams. However, as the threat landscape evolved, so did the need for advanced fraud protection technology.

Now, in 2024, ANZ’s next chapter in the Falcon’s legacy aims to marry nostalgia with innovation.

ANZ's nostalgia falcon

Nostalgia marketing taps into the emotional connections people have with the past to evoke positive memories and sentiments. By leveraging familiar symbols, cultural references and experiences from bygone eras, brands aim to create a sense of comfort, familiarity and nostalgia among their audience. 

Ultimately, it’s about transporting consumers back in time to evoke feelings of warmth and nostalgia while simultaneously driving engagement and brand resonance in the present day.

ANZ Australian general manager marketing Sian Chadwick says no one is immune to the threat of fraud and scams. “It is important for all of us to remain vigilant,” Chadwick says. “Bringing back the Falcon allows us to engage with audiences on the very important topic of banking security. Customers want to know how banks are keeping their money safe, and they are seeking that reassurance that we’re keeping their money safe every minute of every day.”

Chadwick says ANZ research indicates the Falcon technology is considered one of the most compelling security offerings for its target audience.

 “Our use of the bird to represent this technology resonated strongly both with those who were familiar with it and those who were introduced to it for the first time,” she says.

ANZ’s 2024 ‘DoppelFalcons’ campaign.

The falcon flies again

This revival isn’t merely an exercise in nostalgia, it’s a strategic move rooted in consumer research and brand resonance. The agency behind the campaign, Special Melbourne, were tasked with reintroducing the icon into the market and ensuring it had the same emotional impact that it did back in 2006.

Special Melbourne executive creative director Ryan Fitzgerald says the campaign acknowledges the ANZ brand’s rich heritage and recognises the defining characteristics that carry it forward into the future. “With the Falcon, we had an iconic brand property that we could pair with a new technology story,” Fitzgerald says. “The addition of contemporary storytelling evolved perfectly to meet the current security climate.”

ANZ's nostalgia falcon

The Falcon’s enduring appeal, validated by Ehrenberg-Bass testing, positioned it as a powerful asset to drive brand consideration and product acquisition.

As ANZ embraces nostalgia while simultaneously embracing innovation, the ‘DoppelFalcons’ campaign serves as a testament to making what is old new again – and sometimes you don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel.

Paying homage to heritage

The campaign serves as a strategic and personal move to differentiate the brand from its corporate competitors.

‘DoppelFalcons’ caters to both long-time customers and younger consumers who may not be familiar with the brand’s history by showing an evolved version of an icon.

“We’ve evolved the Falcon because the technology has evolved to stay one step ahead of fraudsters,” Chadwick says. “The campaign allows us to leverage the rich history and strong associations that we established over 15 years ago but present it in a way that represents the world we live in today. And equally, the expectations of our audiences.” 

ANZ’s 2006 ‘Falcon’ advertisement.

Special Melbourne chief strategy officer and partner Rebecca Stambanis says bringing back the Falcon was a deliberate choice to show ANZ’s distinct advantage when it comes to financial security.

“The beauty of the Falcon, and what makes it such a powerful asset, is that it is a very simple yet striking symbol to denote ANZ’s leadership on security,” Stambanis says. “Since 2006, it remains one of ANZ’s most distinctive brand assets and is a unique, ownable shortcut to tell our security story. We knew that for those younger and less familiar consumers, the Falcon would still be a powerful symbol of how ANZ watches over its customers 24/7 to keep their money safe.” 

Not every brand can elicit true nostalgia

Nostalgia marketing is a potent tool in the marketer’s arsenal, but not every brand can necessarily harness its full power. The success of the ‘DoppelFalcons’ campaign lies in ANZ’s ability to strike a delicate balance between this nostalgia and innovation, leveraging the Falcon’s legacy while propelling it into the digital age.

Chadwick says people seek out nostalgia – things that are familiar and have positive memories and associations attached. “Knowing nostalgia elicits feelings of social connectedness and belonging, which hopefully drives loyalty and affinity,” she says. “Despite not featuring the Falcon in our advertising in more than 15 years, we looked to use nostalgia to drive strong associations with ANZ’s security capabilities.”

ANZ's nostalgia falcon

The bank’s creative work is distinctive, and as you would expect from a big brand – the media weight allows ANZ to reach a broad audience across Australia. 

“Reaching into a brand’s historical catalogue ‘just because you can’ isn’t reason enough to do it. Historical brand elements can be incredibly powerful communications tools, however, the reason to do it needs to be compelling and considered,” Fitzgerald says.

As ANZ continues to navigate the competitive advertising environment, the ‘DoppelFalcons’ campaign is a great example of the power of nostalgia and the importance of staying true to a brand’s roots while simultaneously embracing the future. 

By tapping into the emotional connections meticulously forged with consumers over decades, ANZ cements its position as a trusted guardian of financial security, ensuring that the Falcon’s watchful gaze remains a beacon of reassurance for generations to come.

Imagery supplied by ANZ.

Also, read about building customer loyalty from Mailchimp’s VP of brand.


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Billy Klein

Billy Klein is a content producer at Niche Media.

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