How NAB's ‘break-up’ changed banking in a single day

Agency: Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne

Advertiser: NAB

Author: Paul Rees-Jones

Total Campaign Expenditure: $5-10 million

STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS CHALLENGE

Australians have always believed their four biggest banks, Commonwealth, ANZ, Westapc and NAB, work together fixing fees and eliminating competition. This perceived collusion goes to the heart of the well-worn catchcry “All banks are bastards” or at the very least seeing them as out of touch and arrogant. NAB, like the other banks, needed to address this perception but unlike their competition, decided to do so by challenging the status quo.

In July 2009 NAB introduced its Fair Value agenda based on a belief that the relationship people had with their banks needed to change, for the better. At the heart of this agenda was a defining value of doing the right thing introduced by Cameron Clyne, Group CEO National Australia Bank. In the post-GFC world, he believed the most competitive stance a bank could take would be one of reputation management, especially when it came to NAB's retail division.