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Breaking the banks: NAB steps up campaign


Breaking the banks: NAB steps up campaign


It made more headlines than Valentine’s Day itself, the NAB ‘break up’ campaign was inescapable in February this year. With viral videos, aero plane banners, and billboards; NAB blanketed Australian cities with its message: they would save customers more money than the other big players.

It opened up a discourse across major media about the big four (NAB, CBA, ANZ, Westpac), were there lesser evils? Were the big four previously in bed with each other, and had NAB really broken away? NAB were claiming they were fighting harder to give their customers more, but the Commonwealth Bank had been saying the same thing too, they were ‘determined to be different’, meanwhile ANZ were just being flat out weird, with their live Falcon birds promising fraud security.

The NAB campaign pushed banking marketing in to new creative territory, and apparently it has riled the other banks, if you believe the latest roll out of the break up campaign.

NAB launched the next phase of its marketing strategy with a TV campaign last night.

Created by Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, the first television commercial called ‘Unpopular’ will be followed by further TV, radio, digital, large format outdoor, experiential activity, social media and PR over the coming weeks.

It depicts the other big banks as a big boys club. NAB walks around in first person, getting scowls from balding and grey-haired men in suits who apparently aren’t too chuffed about NAB giving the customer a better deal.

Marketing mag asked NAB’s executive general manager of marketing, Sandra de Castro if she really does feel the other banks are annoyed at NAB.

“I don’t think we’re very popular at the moment,” she laughs. “It’s a competitive market place out there. Rates of growth for banks at the moment are subdued in this climate, so really the only way to get bigger is to go and get other people’s customers."

NAB claims the break up campaign has been pretty damn successful so far, it aligns with a 70% increase in the number of new mortgage customers, a 50% increase in credit card applications, and 175, 000 new customers.

“I’m loving the campaign,” de Castro says, “it’s having fantastic results. As a marketer, it doesn’t get a lot better than that, it’s petty awesome in terms of results.”

However, De Castro reckons NAB’s actual business decisions should be given more credit than the campaign, particularly their bold moves through the global financial crisis.

“For the past couple of years, we’ve been running a differentiated strategy from the other three banks. We’ve abolished a raft of fees, we kept lending during the GFC, when other banks were withdrawing lending.”

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