RaboPlus delivers a superb challenger strategy in a traditionally conservative category.
It hasn't tried to offer everything to everyone. It has isolated a real competitive advantage and built a solid, profitable business around it.
Encouraging people to stay with their fat, bald, dense, cowardly and boring Current Bank neatly sidesteps the headache that bank marketers always face - that people would rather invite an Australian to dinner than go through the pain of changing banks.
RaboPlus provides the allure of a stilettoed black belt on the side while your Current Bank hangs around doing nothing, an important pyjama-wearing wimp. Nice.
On the other hand, BNZ's piggy-bank campaign remains confusing. What is the idea really trying to achieve? Are the pigs only there to provide a flexible link across ads to increase brand recognition?
Given a heritage brand with "Unbeatable" mortgage rates, market-leading products and big budgets, the people and their pigs idea seems an expensive, humourless, emotionless and one-dimensional way to say: "In case you can't be bothered hanging around for our real logo, here's a pig."
Verdict? Cute, but mute. You may think there are worse bank ads but what can be worse than a wasted opportunity to do great work?
JWT Creative director
I don't have the stats and hard data on effectiveness, but from a creative perspective ANZ is the bigger loser.
Apart from having the longest, hardest to read and most boring tagline - "The better we know you the more we can do" - the ads themselves are just plain bland. Big billboards featuring smiling bank staff and happy customers - please.
The ANZ bank manager who enjoys cutting up credit cards in one of their latest ads should have been shredding the script instead. This campaign proves the old adage "never let a client appear in their own ads".
The rest of the pack is tightly bunched with no clear-cut winner.
The National bank has taken the high ground with classical music and slick production values. BNZ has cute pigs. ASB has Goldstein, who although getting a little long in the tooth still gets a chuckle.
Westpac has cartoons, kind of cute. Kiwibank has patriotism. And Rabobank has sex appeal.
I guess Rabobank wins, just because I wouldn't have expected it from a bank. Therefore it stands out in its category, although perhaps it gets lost among the beer and deodorant ads.
Senior adviser at Australasian PR and communications company CPR.
Banking is a competitive and cluttered advertising space. For me, the most effective are the ASB Goldstein ads.
They strike a nice tone, they don't take themselves too seriously and they provide immediate brand recall. Everyone knows who Goldstein is.
They are a good example of building a sustainable and engaging narrative and giving it a recognisable face.
I also think the National Bank cricket summer ads do a good job of maximising its sponsorship dollar. TSB and Kiwibank have carved themselves out strong niche identities as "anti-banks," either as honest Kiwi battlers or banks that do not charge like wounded bulls.
Least effective for me is ANZ. While the ads are down-to-earth and focused on real people and real service, they are also quite forgettable, generic and lacking a coherent message. There is virtually no brand recall.
The BNZ pigs are cute in a Pixar kind of way, but anthropomorphism always puts me off. I find myself starting to wonder about weird stuff like how do pigs use ATMs and is there something a bit sinister about their little piggy eyes?