NAB: Break Up

Agency: Clemenger BBDO & Clemenger Proximity, Melbourne

Advertiser: NAB

Author: Paul Rees-Jones

Total Campaign Expenditure: $5 – 10 million

Strategic communications challenge

Australia's four biggest banks, Commonwealth, ANZ, Westpac and NAB are some of the most profitable in the world delivering combined annual profits of A$22 billion1. But the public believed the major banks worked together fixing fees and eliminating competition that goes to the heart of the long held sentiment 'all banks are bastards'.

In 2009 NAB's recently appointed Group CEO Cameron Clyne introduced a Fair Value Agenda. He was driven by a motivation that better customer relationships should underpin a sustainable business model for the bank.

Responding to this new agenda, NAB's retail bank, the smallest of the 'Big 4', set about making changes focusing on the things customers found most irritating; removing monthly account fees, abolishing overdrawn account fees, offering the lowest standard variable home loan rate and lower credit card fees. Although these initiatives were welcomed and communicated through NAB's 'More give, less take' campaign, the perception was all the banks were offering similar improvements. In banking, establishing a difference was proving difficult and led us to define the communication challenge as: