|by Mr Credit Card|
This article was written by Mike Jarocki who is a regular writer and part of the team at CreditCardFinder.com.au, a 100% free Australian credit card comparison and application service. Visit the Credit Card Finder website for more information on credit cards, or Subscribe to their RSS feed for more practical articles. Mike is going to give us a brief update on the Aussie credit card scene down under. There are lots of video ads (with a slightly different accent!). So enjoy this post.
Not is all doom and gloom in the global economic downturn – While some businesses products and services plummet in demand, windows of opportunity are opened elsewhere. One of these options is the growing availability of cheaper media advertising.
Australian banks have not completely withdrawn into their shells when it comes to advertising during the recession. Most are taking a new approach to media and testing out new campaigns on television, print and online.
Today it’s all about relating with customers. Banks are making their images more community based, personal and funny.
Disappearing are the days where banks simply portray themselves as a stale corporate financial institution. Self depreciation is a growing trend among new TV banking advertisements, particularly in the ANZ and Commonwealth Bank campaigns.
Check out of some of the current ads running from credit card issuers in Australia:
Since American Express have began advertising they’ve marketed their cards as classy and prestige. Their cards are a sign of status – they’re generally expensive, but the rewards and service are top class.
Their T.V ads feature celebrities explaining their day to day lives, and whatever they do they always carry and use their American Express.
Their online sales page for the American Express Gold Ascent Card is enticing and clean. Planes are in the background as many Amex users would redeem their points for flights.
American Express frequently send mail offers to their customers and potential new ones. They use phrases like ‘You have been pre-approved‘ and constantly throw in compliments. You will never see the word ‘debt’ used in a mail credit card offer. This isn’t an Australia trick – credit card offers worldwide follow a similar pattern.
Because American Express are already valued as prestigious cards, it’s easy for the adverts to play on people’s egos and desires for prestige and status.
American Express – Robert DeNiro
Their online sales page for the ANZ Low Rate MasterCard is simple and straight to the point. The three selling points of the cards are highlighted, and the ‘Apply Now’ button follows. ANZ like to have a laugh at themselves with their credit card campaigns. Their two most common campaigns currently running on TV are the Simon and Falcon ads.
Simon seems like your stereotypical innocent and obnoxious office coworker while the ANZ Falcon hunts down fraudsters (literally).
ANZ – Whatever it Takes to Keep Your Secure
BankWest brand themselves as a cheap alternative to the ‘big four banks’. In reality, BankWest financial products can be significantly better or more valuable than a competing banks offer.
Their advertising is generally light and bubbly, with mascots such as kittens, flowers, dogs and ponies. An example of their bus station advertising can be seen here.
For the online sales pages such as the Bankwest Lite MasterCard, they continue the green and orange color scheme and like to make them as simple as possible.
BankWest have been running a series of campaigns they call ‘Happiness -a BankWest Initiative‘. They’re focusing on the things people hate most about banking and removing them, while taking things people love and increasing them.
Their ads feature puppets and toys being interviewed with voiceovers. ‘Simple and cute’ seems to be what they’re trying to achieve, especially with the nursery rhyme style theme song at the end of each ad.
BankWest – The Happy Banking Flower
Throughout 2008, Bendigo underwent a large scale advertising campaign for the olympic games. Similar to BankWest, Bendigo rely on word-of-mouth of their service and products to acompany their advertising.
While any financial institution runs off word-of-mouth regardless, it is their competitive offers and customer service which sets them apart.
The online sales page for the Bendigo Bank Red is in the same format as their other credit card pages.
Similar to the card designs themselves, the information and application pages are very simple and unstylised – basically just text and links. Whether this is an intentional approach or not is unclear.
Bendigo Bank stay true to the community based ‘working Australian’ image with their advertising campaigns. Bendigo Bank are constantly being voted one of Australia’s ‘favourite’ bank in terms of products and customer service, and they might choose to reflect this by pushing a reliable and safe image.
Bendigo Bank – Community
Citibank are primarily an American bank who also operate in Australia, and are the world’s largest issuer of credit cards.
Their online sales page for the Citibank Clear Platinum looks crisp and sharp and does wonders to appeal at least visually to viewers. Most Citibank as well as CUA/IMB, their building societies have similar landing pages for their credit cards online.
Citibank go against the trend with the tv advertisements and run a straight up informative advertisement. This advertisement has been running for a while, and clearly explains the benefits and savings potential of a balance transfer.
Balance transfers need more than just humor to explain, so it’s fair enough that Citibank run an advertisement in this fashion.
Citibank – Citibank TV Offer
Australia’s second largest bank below NAB, Commonwealth Bank (CBA) works hard at associating banking with their name from a young age.
From Kindergarten, CBA works with schools in promoting their ‘Dollarmites‘ program. The Dollarmites program educates children about simple banking and finance concepts, and offers freebies and complimentary saving accounts as well.
Their online sales pages such as the Commonwealth Bank Gold MasterCard layout all the necessary information in an easy to digest format. It continues their recognisable color scheme of Yellow and Black, colors of joy and trust.
CBA also get involved in sports advertising. They associate themselves with the Australian national sport, Cricket, by sponsoring the Commowealth Bank Series as well as the player uniforms.
For T.V, CBA have scrapped their old (at least for now) ‘Which Bank?’ campaigns for a series of ads which show a couple of marketers from an American Advertising Agency working with them in order to create ‘The Next Best Thing’ in ‘Austrian Banking’.
Many industry experts have titled the campaign a failure, including Australia marketing guru John Singleton calling it an ‘obscene waste of money’.
To the surprise of even more, an email survey campaign found that CBA had the most popular and memorable ads of all Australian banks.
Commonwealth Bank – Determined to be Different
The National Australia Bank (NAB) is the largest Australian financial institution. They do not appear to have a large aggressive and consistent advertising campaign like other competing banks, but aren’t without their room in the spotlight. NAB was the first to announce their removal of overdrawal fees, which raked in over $1bn of profits for NAB.
Their online sales page for the NAB Low Rate Visa is a simple format similar to Bendigo’s, but with a bit more color and life.
NAB have been running a recent television campaign during prime time television hours – the ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’ is a powerful ad which associates NAB with helping us reaching our dreams. They also created an ad to highlight their recent banking and fee changes.
NAB – Climb Ev’ry Mountain
St George Bank constantly strive to achieve an image of customer service perfection. Their advertising and presence in the media is generally clean, sharp and promote community. Their slogan ‘Good with people, good with money‘ perfectly matches their campaigns.
They gain ongoing coverage through their sponsorship of the Illawara Dragons, an Australia Rugby League team.
Their online sales page for the St. George Vertigo MasterCard is clean and clearly demonstrates the key selling points of the card. Their t.v advertisements generally focus on the quality of their customer service and positive banking reputation. A couple of their more recent campaigns are posted below.
St George – Toss out Monthly Fees
Woolworths have partnered with HSBC to provide the Woolworths Everyday Money card. This ad was airing in late 2008, yet the card is constantly reinventing itself with new promotional offers and media advertising to this day.
Every Woolworths supermarket has posters and application forms as well as checkout staff asking if you have an ‘Everyday Money’ card for you to earn shopping rewards on.
Woolworths – The Fresh Card
Visa Visa aren’t a financial provider, but still advertise their brand. As a payment processor which works as a third party in-between the banks and consumers, Visa take a fee out of each transaction made by a Visa card. This fee is covered by merchant receiving payment, so it becomes even more convenient for those using a Visa card. The same applies for American Express, Diners and MasterCard.
Visa – What is a Visa Debit Card