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Yes bank changes its tune

John Drinnan

Friday 7th November 2003

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ANZ Bank has launched its first full-scale branding campaign since "The yes bank" in the mid-1990s ­ a move that had been planned well before it emerged as the prospective new owner for National Bank.

ANZ has been depicted as the ugly sister to National Bank's Cinderella in the lead up to the takeover, with numerous business analysts lamenting the move as bad for National customers.

The two brands are set to run alongside one another for an unspecified time but the minnow in the banking sector, Kiwibank, sees opportunities from National Bank customers jumping ship.

Whether that happens or not ­ only about 4.5% of customers change banks every year ­ there is clearly a need to get some communications news out about ANZ.

ANZ New Zealand managing director Greg Camm said the bank's research showed the bank's biggest problem was the communications strategy ­ including advertising and sponsorship ­ rather than deficiencies in its customer services.

He said only 37% of surveyed consumers recognised ANZ advertising, which mostly focused on the mortgage market.

To that end the new campaign from M&C Saatchi has adopted a traditional people focus and seeks to present its customer and staff relations as its strength and not, as it is commonly presented, as its weakness.

The campaign launched November 2 with 60-second TVC but follows through with 30-second and 15-second ads and with newspaper and radio ads this week.

Radio and television advertising features Annie Crummer singing the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic Getting to Know You.

For the radio ads M& C bought 60-second spots on launch day to target prime audiences for the new signature tune.

Other moves include new branch openings, improved staff training to improve staff satisfaction and refurbishing some branches.

M&C Saatchi creative director Jason Ross said the focus on local customers was a contrast to ASB Bank's Goldstein campaign, which features an American coming to New Zealand.

He said it was an exciting time for the agency, which had previously worked with its Melbourne agency on the product campaign for mortgages "Change your house to suit your life."

Whybin TBWA's Goldstein and Clemenger's National Bank black horse branding are by common agreement the two most successful branding campaigns in New Zealand banking.

National Bank is licensed to use the black horse motif, owned by National Banks former owners Lloyds TSB, for seven years. The black horse has played a much bigger part in the National Bank branding than at its parent, Lloyds TSB in the UK.

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