Tuesday, September 21, 2010
We live in your world
I don't mind the 'Barbara from Bankworld' campaign for ANZ. The scripts are well-written, the performances are spot-on and the end result is pretty funny. And full marks to the client for having the self-awareness to approve ideas like these.
However, I worry a little that it's the right campaign for the wrong client. Or a cute advertising idea with a hollow centre.
The sector is extremely competitive, with any product or service advantage quickly matched and neutralised. The end result is, with a few odd exceptions like the excellent ANZ iPhone app, it's pretty much a level playing field.
ANZ has pretty much the same products, the same service levels and branches in the same sorts of places as the other Big Three. So while Barbara captures the zeitgeist of anti-bank frustration, I wonder what long-term value there is for the brand. We might well laugh at Genevieve Morris' excellent character, but it may not be quite so funny when encountering a real-life Barbara at an ANZ call centre or in a branch.
And as anyone who's ever tried to cancel a credit card or arrange a small business loan will tell, there are plenty of them.
However while in the Collins Street last week, I flipped open my laptop in a cafe to find the following notfication on my screen.
With little fanfare or self-aggrandaisement, ANZ provided free wi-fi in this small CBD cafe. So that people could check their emails, read the news or even do their banking without any hassle.
The tagline to the Barbara campaign is 'We live in your world'. I reckon this is a far more persuasive expression of that brand idea.