Cannes Lions



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Our challenge: How do we get people to believe a bank is different when they have long thought the big banks collude with each other at the expense of their customers?The creative idea: Getting people to openly witness NAB break up from the other major banks.

Australians have always believed their four biggest banks, Commonwealth, ANZ, Westpac and NAB work together fixing fees and eliminating competition. The reality for one of the four however is the opposite.

NAB had invested two years making dramatic changes to be considered fairer and more competitive by their customers but the changes had limited impact because of the perceived collusion between the ‘Big 4’.

So we had to get people to readily identify with NAB by creating a difference that resonated with a cynical Australian public to show what the bank had become. In doing so, we needed to create a momentum that would deepen existing customer relationships while attracting new customers from the other major banks.How did we do this? Instead of fighting this perception of the banks being ‘together’, we embraced it by letting the public witness NAB break up with the other banks. To demonstrate the point, the campaign launched on Valentine’s Day.Did NAB succeed? Absolutely. Break Up attracted 180,000 new-to-bank customers to NAB over the 11 week campaign while reducing customer defections by 27%, delivering a 61% net growth. Over the last 12 months this has delivered a 205% ROI based on acquired and retained customers. At brand level, all of NAB’s brand perception scores increased considerably, more than doubling its reputation for being ‘different’ and its ‘fairness’ reputation gap grew four fold over the competition.

Break Up cemented NAB in the public consciousness with a single act. But beyond the campaign, its real legacy has been to create a platform that’s helping deliver a financial performance well above market growth while supporting an internal NAB culture that banking can be better.

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