Straight-up Brand Differentiation.
On Valentine’s Day 2011, across Australia, NAB bankers simultaneously broke it off with the other big banks. The break-up was very public, it happened in restaurants, parks, public transport and bars around the nation. On Tuesday NAB took-out full page advertisements in all the major newspapers taking aim at its three rivals, declaring: ”It’s over between us.” The ‘break-up’ is a clear play by NAB to differentiate themselves from the other big banks and their dubiously unpopular reputations.
In the letter addressed to CBA, ANZ and Westpac, NAB said “I’ve decided I need to break up with you. I think we all know this has been coming…deep down, though, I really feel that we’ve just grown apart.” To a large extent, this creative approach to direct differentiation is connecting with consumers around the country, who whether they believe NAB really has changed-or-not, are at least enjoying the show.
We love the classic bust-up lines in the ads like – “It’s not you, it’s me… I’ve moved on” and “At least I’m really trying to be a better bank”, and a billboard I passed on the freeway this morning saying; “We’ve broken-up with the other banks, be gentle with them”.
Retail and business analyst Barry Urquhart says; “were still convinced that all banks are bastards… What they are trying to do with this campaign is to ‘decommodify’ banking … NAB are picking up on the populism of the politicians and the public thinking [that the banks are] in collusion,”
They broke-up by TV…
They broke-up by helicopter…
They even broke-up in person (how old school is that) with more than 50 ”break-up scenes” in restaurants and at city landmarks, posting them to YouTube and Twitter.
The campaign has so far failed to win-over the market 100%. As with all brand communications, the real proof will be in what they do, not what they say. However even-though the polls and consumer comments such as this one from The Age Newspaper show an even split between those who rate the brand campaign highly, and those who aren’t moved by it – this should be viewed in the context of consumer sentiment about NAB prior to the bust-up, and relative to consumer sentiment for the other three big banks. Across the board the NAB has won a positive shift in how people feel about them – especially how people feel about them compared to the other big bank brands.
Well done NAB.
A real attempt to bring about competition within the big-4.
“It’s over between us”.
I think it’s really funny and clever!
I love NAB!
just another phoney bank war!
People fall for this nonsense? NAB need to fix their computer system, the regular stuff around is what is driving people away…
The bust-up has been highly emotional, it’s been messy and far from private. Sure, harsh things have been said in the heat of the moment, but as with all good break-ups the split will see many consumers look at both parties in a new light.
- NAB escalates war on its rivals with video stunts (mumbrella.com.au)
- Social Media: NAB Break Up Letter (laurelpapworth.com)
- It’s exit fees war as NAB offers to pay (theage.com.au)