ANZ launches regional TV push starring The Mentalist actor Simon Baker

ANZ has launched a new regional campaign that features The Mentalist actor Simon Baker, as predicted by Mumbrella a few months ago.

Baker, who replaces the Barbara the banker character who starred in the bank’s domestic advertising, plays his character in The Mentalist, Patrick Jane. The ads carry the two-year old slogan ‘We live in your world’.

The ads aim to position ANZ as insightful, sophisticated and worldly, but with a strong connection to Australia, according to ANZ.

A different execution of the campaign will run in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan as well as Australia and New Zealand.

Although the Patrick Jane character is not known in Asia, the creative concept does not rely on familiarity with The Mentalist to work, ANZ’s group general manager, brand, Louise Eyres told Mumbrella.

“His character is modern and contemporary, and is a strong fit with ANZ’s brand values,” she said.

Eyres pointed out that The Mentalist is soon to launch across Asia, so the Patrick Jane character would soon build awareness.

The campaign was created by Whybin\TBWA Melbourne, which won the business from M&C Saatchi and DDB in March.



  1. old guy
    4 Jul 11
    10:49 am

  2. I like it. It takes the virtually impossible ‘we live in our world’ thought and makes it work. And you can see how easy it’ll be for them to roll it out across all the bank’s products and services. And won’t the Asian market just love Simon Baker.

  3. Steve
    4 Jul 11
    10:59 am

  4. That’s really bad.

    Really, really, really bad. Oh dear.

  5. Hmmm...
    4 Jul 11
    11:06 am

  6. If they’re going to fictional tv characters front their brand, I’d much rather them use Dexter. Or the guys from Deadwood.

  7. Tim
    4 Jul 11
    11:07 am

  8. What an odd ad this is.

    I know what they’re trying to do with the direct, second person address. But they don’t really land it. No-one really thinks all that about their bank. In fact they don’t think half of it. That’s just what a bank wished their customers thought about them, right ANZ?

    And Simon spends 3/4 of the ad looking everywhere but me, which doesn’t help the whole second person approach.

    Writer / director – Fail. Sorry.

  9. Michael
    4 Jul 11
    11:18 am

  10. Hey, old guy who works at Whybin TBWA, can you explain to me how it makes ‘we live in your world’ work? After a minute of gabbling, I can’t remember any single thing the handsome TV star told me. And how will it be easy to roll out across products and services? Presumably Simon won’t be dirtying his hands with credit card offers. So what’s left? Fingerprints?

  11. Intrigued
    4 Jul 11
    11:42 am

  12. So this was the must have ‘idea’ they won the pitch with? Borrowed interest from a TV show?

    Hey, why don’t I just go eat some hay, make things out of clay, lay by the bay? I just may! What’d ya say?

  13. #fail
    4 Jul 11
    11:59 am

  14. Twitter was abuzz last night with confused people wondering why Aussie Simon Baker was speaking to Australians in an American accent. ANZ both overestimated the popularity of the Mentalist and his character and failed to see that people identify him as SImon Baker not his character. It’s an #epicfail.

  15. simon lawson
    4 Jul 11
    12:08 pm

  16. As the current face of Samsung, it’s a little unfortunate that Simon Baker uses an iPhone in the above 60′ ANZ TVC.

  17. Jack
    4 Jul 11
    12:09 pm

  18. Tired and predictable, i can’t believe they won the pitch with this out dated idea. One minute Baker is on our screens flogging Samsung, now ANZ , i suppose he was the only one who saw that coming.

  19. Tony
    4 Jul 11
    12:38 pm

  20. I see that Samsung have dumped their tagline ‘Turn on Tomorrow’ very quickly and Simon’s tvc where he goes from space ship to loungeroom and just happens to touch just about every product Samsung make. There was no longevity in that and even less in the ANZ effort where he is talking to nobody in particular. Simon is becomong the chesse-iest presenter ever!

  21. Anonymous
    4 Jul 11
    1:11 pm

  22. Isnt he an Aussie doing an Aussie advert?

    Why is he putting on a US accent for? Wasn’t he in Home and Away?

    What is The Mentalist? Never heard of it? (Some USA tripe on channel, 7, 9 or 10 I guess?)

    If he is an Aussie, why isnt he being an Aussie in the advert?

    Kylie wouldn’t do an advert in Australia with a Pommie accent, neither would Rolf Harris…

    ANZ have gone from bad Barbara to an Aussie mimicking a Yank. I suppose “Yank” ryhmes with bank and it is the 4th July…

    That’s my take on it all.

    How about leave the unknown Aussie (American) out of it and wave ATM fees to customers using your ATM’s ANZ – best PR drive for sure… (Let your product do the talking for a change…)

    he he – what are the odds of that happening…

  23. Confused
    4 Jul 11
    1:40 pm

  24. “The ads aim to position ANZ as insightful, sophisticated and worldly, but with a strong connection to Australia, according to ANZ”

    The ad is shot in America (they don’t even have ANZ branches in the US), using a character from an American TV Show with a dodgy American accent. Where’s the Australian connection?

    I won’t even bring up the point about The Mentalist not yet being shown in Asia.

  25. Ron Jeremy
    4 Jul 11
    2:01 pm

  26. I’ve never watched this guy’s show so the whole thing leaves me wondering “What the fuck was that I just saw?”

    Confusing crap.

  27. Anon's Sister
    4 Jul 11
    2:11 pm

  28. An expensive way for the clients to meet Simon Baker!

  29. KAT
    4 Jul 11
    2:14 pm

  30. I am thinking….Simon is so damn sexy.

  31. tvtime
    4 Jul 11
    2:19 pm

  32. Mentalist didn’t even crack 1million last night.
    Badly directed? Doesn’t feel like the mentalist execpt its Simon Baker wearing a similar suit.
    and remember the smaller bank that signed Seinfeld of years ago….
    maybe Comm bank should sign up the masterchef judges.

  33. WTF
    4 Jul 11
    2:29 pm

  34. The other people walking down the street next to him don’t appear to worry that he is talking to himself. Nothing against paranoid schizophrenics but wouldn’t you move at least a couple of steps to the side if the guy next to you started yabbering on to himself. About a bank no doubt.

  35. sven
    4 Jul 11
    2:36 pm

  36. it’s a great idea with prety average execution – but this fact alone doesn’t excuse many of the silly comments above

    Tim – believe me, the target audience has no idea what you mean by ‘direct, second person address’. The 800,000 or so that watch the show just recognise and like the character and by association, will warm to the brand. And i’d be surprised if any of them track his eye movements.

    Michael – the ‘we live in your world’ line is brought to life by Baker’s TV character stepping out of his fictional world into ours. The ‘we’ is meant to be Baker and ANZ. It’s not rocket surgery, buddy.

    #fail – because some Tweets express confusion the entire target audience is confused, is it? dear me. Perhaps a more rigorous evaluation methodology could be employed, don’t you think? and if people are at least talking about the campaign in Twitter isn’t this a social media success, to a degree?

    Anonymous – Simon Baker is what we call ‘in character’ hence speaks with the same accent as his Mentalist alter ego

    I don’t watch the show nor have i a vested interest in the success or failure of this campaign, yet i despair at the pure bitchiness and/or idiocy at many of these comments.

  37. EyeRoll
    4 Jul 11
    2:43 pm

  38. Would have been a marvellous touch if the bank had managed to make its GoMoney app, on which it all hinges, work in time. It has been unavailable for many weeks because of technical problems – and still apparently can’t be downloaded, even after the ad aired widely. So, no, ANZ does not live in my world.

  39. AdGrunt
    4 Jul 11
    3:08 pm

  40. To crystallise other comments:

    An Australian is advertising an Australasian bank to Australians.

    He’s doing this, without a hint of irony, in his American character, complete with American accent, shot in an (apparently) American setting.

    Let’s face it, America isn’t exactly flavour of the decade for banking skill and propiety.

    For those who believe in such things (I’ve never watched it) then his facial language is also screaming liar (avoiding direct eye contact and wandering viewpoint)

    This is the kind of ad you should see on holiday overseas and perhaps marvel at how ANZ nuances their brand messaging around the region. Instead, you’ll see it here and be utterly boggled as to what they were thinking.

  41. Jack
    4 Jul 11
    3:17 pm

  42. Ahh sven @ 2.36, the truth is, it’s not a great idea…… and after you made that idiotic point, the rest of your comment seriously lacked credibility

  43. Michael
    4 Jul 11
    3:20 pm

  44. Hey, Sven, thanks for the condescension.

    But if I haven’t watched the show, and don’t know who the character is, how will I be aware that he has stepped out of his world into mine? It just looks like a guy talking at the camera, not a character.

    You seem to be assuming that 800,000 people who watch the show will explain it to the rest of Australia. But you’ve also probably read the strategy. That always helps.

  45. JosieK
    4 Jul 11
    3:20 pm

  46. I don’t think it’s a hit at all. We saw it last night and, like others obviously, didn’t realise that Mr Baker was supposed to be in character; we were just offended that he was talking in an American accent. We therefore immediately disengaged from the pitch and the brand and thought it was an epic fail.

    The comments aren’t silly, Sven, they’re real. The fact that you need six paras to address a range if individual issues raised in this quite short comments stream really seems to me to display how far off the mark this campaign is.

  47. ladybug
    4 Jul 11
    4:25 pm

  48. Slick it might be…but I immediately thought it was a station ad for Mentalist…works a treat for 9 network as show recall ….not sure if I was Ten or 7 I would be thrilled running the ad. But then NAB & their divorce from other banks, Westpac and Heritage, Ing & the Orange Monkey…what the f*** would I know!! As long as the Marketing Director is happy and feels they have made their mark…that’s all that counts. Because they know all!!

  49. OzDJ
    4 Jul 11
    7:04 pm

  50. I loved this gem on Twitter earlier today:!/PeachyPR/statuses/87759722651987968

    “Finds it funny that Simon Baker is on the new #anzbank tv commercial. I spotted him doing his banking at Toombul Commonwealth Bank recently!”
    Mon 4/07/2011 3:49 PM

    [Anti-sockpuppeting disclosure: I am a CBA employee. Any comment/opinion I make is my own, not my employer’s etc etc]

  51. Honesty
    4 Jul 11
    8:08 pm

  52. Appalling… another disaster produced by ANZ.

  53. The Cantankerist
    4 Jul 11
    8:40 pm

  54. Sven, it’s pretty simple: The problem with Baker doing an American accent as if he were in character is that everything about it runs DIRECTLY COUNTER to the ad’s intended message. Baker’s character doesn’t live in our world – he’s fictional! If Baker had done the ad in an Aussie accent it would have been a good effect: “here he is as you’re used to seeing him on television, but look: he’s part of your world”. There would be ownership of Baker and therefore of ANZ – a territorial pride for the domestic viewer, which is right on message – where instead there’s alienation and the mark of the foreigner. Might play just as well or better in the region; plays very badly domestically.

  55. Kelly
    4 Jul 11
    9:32 pm

  56. I like Simon Baker. And the Mentalist. But this ad left me absolutely cold and with no real idea how or why they thought using him would be relevant. ANZ are about to stand out for all the wrong reasons. Glad they’re not one of my banks.

  57. Andy
    4 Jul 11
    10:31 pm

  58. It’s funny how in the the narrative it says that people are looking for a bank that’s ‘more real’ when it uses an Australian actor talking to Australians about their personal financial matters…. using an American accent… how much more fake can you get..?
    Was considering leaving ANZ anyway… this is just more support for my decision.

  59. Intrigued
    5 Jul 11
    12:03 am

  60. Sven, Simon Baker lives in Hollywood. He doesn’t live in our world (just like ANZ).

    That’s the basic outtake from punters. Not the inter-planetary sidestep you describe.

  61. Spongebob Squarepants
    5 Jul 11
    8:54 am

  62. So the ad’s showing in Asia, but the Mentalist hasn’t started there yet. And the ONLY ad to make a reference to the show (“I think I might know a good one”) is the Asian one… wow.

  63. sven
    5 Jul 11
    10:31 am

  64. Please spare me the conceit of your pseudo-intellectualism as it’s utter nonsense. What you under-employed but self-important creatives or creative wannabes are missing is the fact that THE TARGET AUDIENCE IS NOT YOU. They are the 800,000 people who regularly watch the Mentalist and the millions more (like me) who don’t watch it but know the character from all the promos. The target audience doesn’t even think about let alone analyse advertising. It’s a 3000 message a day wall of noise. They either recognise Baker and stop and listen for a few seconds, or they don’t recognise him and/or don’t care and the next ad rolls. This is what happens in ‘their world’ – a world (ie their mind) that just happens to include fictional and non-fictional characters that don’t physically inhabit the same postcode. Some of you really should spend less time bitching about others’ ads and more time re-training yourself for your next occupation.

  65. Darren
    5 Jul 11
    10:31 am

  66. Wow. An ad that’s worse (measurably) than the Westpac ‘Know-How’ ad. That’s quite an achievement – who would have thought a polished actor could come off worse than a ‘real’ Westpac staff member (how annoying is that woman?!)

    Absolutely woeful…sorry Simon – you used to be on E-Street, now you’re trying to pretend you’re from America?! Oh hang-on, you’re in character….as a wanker

  67. Roger
    5 Jul 11
    11:11 am

  68. Confused
    5 Jul 11
    11:13 am

  69. Keep telling yourself that Sven… the ad sucked! Simple as that…

  70. AdGrunt
    5 Jul 11
    11:22 am

  71. Sven,

    That was one hell of a forced rationalisation.

    It’s a tier 1 brand ad for a Big 5 bank. It’s audience is everyone – staff, customers and potential customers.

    Even if I am the Mentalist’s number one fan, I understand that he lives in a drama-driven, fictional, fantasy world. I suspend disbelief when I watch him. Why shouldn’t I think this message comes from the same place, too?

    Unless this campaign gets very clever, very quickly, the “We live in your world” suggestion is going to look very, very forced coming from a bland fictional character, notwithstanding all the message paradox noted above.

    Fictional characters in advertising have a variable history, finding most success when their character is used stereotypically to highlight the main message. Here he acts as some improbable, smug advocate. That may be a refelction of reality, but likely not one ANZ wants.

  72. Peter Petrovski
    5 Jul 11
    12:43 pm

  73. Confusing ad. My Mum saw it and asked ‘Isn’t that Simon Baker, the Aussie? Why is he talking with an American accent?’

    This would be typical for many across Australia.

    Regardless of the spin you put to make it seem like a good idea, most will either just be confused or not get it. For people who don’t know Simon Baker or his show, it will be a middling ad with poor use of the 2nd person.

  74. sven
    5 Jul 11
    1:05 pm

  75. AdGrunt
    Potential viewership is not the same as target audience.
    I’m sorry but the rest of your post isn’t coherent. For example, if you are the Mentalist’s number one fan, how could he be a bland fictional character to you?

  76. AdGrunt
    5 Jul 11
    1:52 pm

  77. Sven,

    Who do you think is the target audience?

    Bear in mind that this is a brand ad, for a Big 5 Australian bank.
    Clue: it isn’t Mentalist fans.

    We’ll take it from there.

  78. Jack H
    5 Jul 11
    4:50 pm

  79. Hi Sven.

    Non industry member/professional here, just a regular Joe from the public. o recognize Simon Baker as an actor and as a character in The Mentalist.

    Terrible advert, with a lot of it having to do with an Australian using an American advert to promote an Australian product. I wasn’t the only person who saw it to reach that conclusion.

    Good luck with your rationalisation.

  80. Anonymous
    5 Jul 11
    7:11 pm

  81. I know what I’m thinking, two very hard working agencies who were putting out some pretty good stuff for the past few years lost their biggest (and toughest), client to a celebrity endorsement ad.

  82. Anonymous
    6 Jul 11
    1:06 pm

  83. This has all gone mental

  84. Sven's mum
    6 Jul 11
    8:23 pm

  85. Wow Sven, you are a super intellectual know all. Wish I could be like you. Everyone and I mean every person (around 20 or so friends/ work colleagues) that I have spoken to about this commercial are confused about it. This is an epic fail from ANZ . Oh and we all have degrees and post graduate education and are employed. You my friend are a TROLL

  86. Anonymous
    7 Jul 11
    3:51 pm

  87. I agree – Saw this last night and was completed bamboozled about his accent. Didn’t realise they were using a character to pitch their bank rather than a successful Aussie…

    I actually rather enjoyed ‘Barbara’ and her male counterpart- thought it was shame they ditched that concept.

  88. KL
    8 Jul 11
    5:11 am

  89. I think the writer dont know about Patrick INDEED is well-known in Hong Kong!
    He is not NOT-KNOWN in HK.

  90. sven
    8 Jul 11
    11:34 am

  91. Adgrunt that’s a bit weak. You not only avoided my question by asking a question, your question was a question that i’d answered in my previous post.
    Yes, of course it’s a brand ad. But brand ads aren’t just sprayed out into the sonic ether – they are created with a view to a specific target audience. You continue to confuse potential viewership with target audience.

  92. sven
    8 Jul 11
    11:44 am

  93. Dear Mum
    Hey – i’m the son you raised, aren’t you responsible for the way i turned out?
    What’s that? You’re not really my mum? You’re a sockpuppet? or rather, a muppet? yes, that is quite clear from your post.

  94. Alan from East Melbourne
    8 Jul 11
    12:34 pm

  95. Sven, seriously. You post a quite lot on Mumbrella and have a very high opinion of your own opinion but really, you have no idea. The ad doesn’t work. No matter how you look at it, it’s a celebrity endorsement ad. Use celebs and the message has to tie in beautifully with the celeb you choose for the ad to work. See Nike’s Rewrite the Future. This one didn’t. It left too many confused. It’s not an easy get so the ad fails. Which is a pity we’re all confused about Baker and his accent because what he’s actually saying in the first ad is some pretty good copywriting.

  96. AdGrunt
    8 Jul 11
    12:47 pm

  97. Sven.
    Don’t waste our time.
    If you’re going to troll, do it with a modicum of understanding and insight.
    All the clues are above. Give yourself one.
    Now back to the post-room for you.

  98. JoeBlow
    8 Jul 11
    11:38 pm

  99. This ad is a perfect example of undisciplined creatives convincing themselves & an eager but foolish client that the Emperor is wearing beautiful clothes.
    1/ Sven, it just fails to connect with we, the POTENTIAL audience & possible ANZ customer, why the heck is it only supposed to work for the TARGET audience? Is that not simply preaching to the converted? What a waste of money.
    2/ I had to assume that Baker was playing his Mentalist role; it was the only explanation for his accent; my wife had no idea as she has never seen the show.
    So during the commercial, we completely missed the information being conveyed as we tried to ‘get our bearings’. As a result of being in character, his failure to look me in the eye is remarkably off putting & cold.
    3/ I’m sure the ANZ will claim to be ‘delighted’ with all the publicity, but will
    this really translate into new customers?
    I mean, that IS the point of advertising isn’t it?

  100. Brett
    9 Jul 11
    12:31 am

  101. Not shot in the US, cars are on the left side of the road n tha background? He talks WAY too much, I tuned him out at about 3 seconds of waffle. None of it made sense.

  102. Snazzy
    11 Jul 11
    9:40 pm

  103. I just saw this advert for the fist time and I’m left speechless thinking “WHAT the ….”. Even if Simon is supposed to be an “American character talking to Aussies about an Aussie (and NZ) bank.

    Bad bad bad creative team on this ad. Totally turned me off.

  104. Pazzonumero1
    12 Jul 11
    6:23 pm

  105. First of all Aussies hate wanky American accents let alone Aussies trying to do wanky American accents. Simon is talking to me but he’s not even looking at me! I feel so rejected. :(

  106. Erin
    15 Jul 11
    1:39 pm

  107. I understood that Simon was playing the character of Patrick Jane in the ad – what I didn’t understand was WHY? He’s an Aussie. If ANZ wanted Australian audiences to connect with him, why on Earth didn’t they just let him play himself, with his natural Aussie accent?

    It’s a very strange ad, and it certainly doesn’t make me want to bank with ANZ.

  108. gg
    18 Jul 11
    11:24 am

  109. Hi Sven,
    Not a marketing boffin. I’ve seen The Mentalist but don’t watch it regularly & I find it strange ANZ went this route. The show is not a hit & all it got me thinking was did he need clearance from CBS as surely they own the character? It’s such an impersonal character anyway – he floats separate to other people.

    Plus I’ve always thought Simon Baker’s American accent is terrible.

  110. Thought my day was bad
    18 Jul 11
    9:30 pm

  111. This ad is terrible, there is no other justification or message take out. It has completely missed the mark – who is responsible ANZ marketing?? Is producing crap on your KPI’s? if so congrats! The first day I saw this ad I just come from a meeting were we had to to seriously critic our own ad before broadcasting. I instantly thought “it could be worse if i worked at ANZ”. If you sit back and look at the recent bank work Nab credit card honesty wins hands down, followed by every other ad than the ANZ or Westpac efforts.

  112. Nicholas
    20 Jul 11
    9:29 pm

  113. The fact that such a shockingly awful ad made it through to broadcast is just evidence of how incredibly out of touch the agency and client are. Whoever approved this should be fired immediately…You dont get paid your big bucks to damage your employers brand..

    People talking on twitter about how the ad is an epic fail and shows how out of touch the bank is, is not a success. Sven is a troll or one of the idiots involved in this disaster. Bad bad bad bad bad ad.

  114. simone
    26 Jul 11
    1:05 pm

  115. what a load of crap, as someone said, shooting from America, the home of corrupt banking looks pretty bad to me. In an American accent, looks even worse to australians. Couldn’t they get him to do 2 versions of the ad, with Oz and US accents?

    Who the hell is running ANZ’s marketing?

  116. Anonymous
    27 Jul 11
    10:21 pm

  117. so very very bad.