ANZ bank’s masterstroke of differentiated brand strategy

branding Melbourne

Standing out from the crowd in a summer of sport.

So what’s notable about a bank choosing an Olympic gold medalist basketballer and an Australian Open tennis Champion to represent their brand across an integrated campaign this summer. Well for starters, it’s the one athlete with both these impressive notches in his belt, and then there’s the fact Dylan Alcott is a wheelchair bound athlete.

Australian bank ANZ has thrown the full weight of their marketing budget behind Dylan over the prime summer of sport with an integrated TV, print and social campaign. Dylan has presented on ANZ’s Bluenote speaking series with a podcast on Winning Culture (you can catch that here.)

Apart from his  sporting CV (A gold medalist in Australia’s wheelchair basketball team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics (with a 2012 Silver and 2010 World Championship thrown in) before turning his attention to tennis, he can add a fourth-consecutive Australian Open title to his existing Rio 2016 Singles, Doubles and US Open titles) Dylan is a natural brand ambassador; he’s likeable, relatable enigmatic and charismatic.

In Dylan’s own words: Absolutely stoked to have partnered with the awesome team at @anz_au for another year at the @australianopen!! I have always dreamt of having people with disabilities in advertising on our TV screens ever since I was little, and can’t believe it’s happened! They have been huge supporters of everything that I do, and continually help me get on top of my game and money! And who doesn’t love egg sandwiches?! Oooh Yeaah!”

This brand alignment is a win/win for both ANZ and Alcott. ANZ has stepped away from the standard ‘sponsor a regular athlete – probably one each from several main stream sports – who is both high achieving and aesthetically pleasing, tagging them with your logo and plaster them everywhere’ (a year ago, ANZ were sponsoring Novak Djokovic). In so-doing, the bank brand has stepped out of the crowd, differentiated themselves and truly connected with a broad group of consumers. By aligning and supporting such a well deserving athlete who also comes across as a bloody good bloke, ANZ have turned us into either customers who are proud to be associated with our bank, or customers who have more positive associations with another bank than we do to our own.

Which poses two questions: Isn’t that the best possible deliverable from a brand sponsorship campaign, and Why has it taken so long for brands to see these athletes in the same sponsorship light as all others?

Dave Ansett
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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Photo Credit: Dylan Alcott / ANZ

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