Ex-CommBank marketing chief Buckman: I was impressed when NAB dumped us

nab_breakupFormer CommBank chief marketing officer Mark Buckman has praised ex-rival NAB’s The Break Up campaign.

Buckman – who now leads marketing at Telstra – made the comments at a panel debate at JC Decaux’s Connectivity Lab afternoon at Sydney Opera House yesterday.

The panel was asked for an example where rivals had done a great campaign.

Buckman, who moved to Telstra in March 2011, pointed to The Break Up which kicked off in February that year. The campaign from Clemenger BBDO Melbourne saw NAB launch an all-out assault in its rivals as it attempted to get the message across that it was not like the rest of the big four.

Buckman said: “There was talk in the market about the big four. All of a sudden, NAB came out with breaking up with the big four. It was bang on the strategy. It was very effective.”

Unilever marketer CMO Peter Boone, whose brands include Lynx, nominated the US Old Spice ads. He said: “It got a lot of attention.”

Nike’s marketing director Juliana Nguyen nominated  the Adidas Impossible Is Nothing campaign which featured athletes talking about the challenges they had overcome. She said: ‘It was a good position for them.”



  1. archie
    20 Jul 12
    3:38 pm

  2. yep, bang on the strategy…nobody believes NAB is a big bank like the others…a couple of experiential stunts, a tweet and some long copy print ads can do that. Amazing.

    Consumers are so so dum.

  3. anon
    22 Jul 12
    8:26 am

  4. Adland was impressed, and it was impressive, but most people I know have not heard of the campaign and still consider NAB a big bad bank

  5. I wonder
    22 Jul 12
    1:16 pm

  6. archie #1 you make a good point.

    While the NAB campaign was a ‘good one’ from an industry point of view, well timed, clever etc did it really meet its objective which was to paint NAB as one of the good guys – not part of the group of four? I don’t think so.

    Anyone who knows the banking industry knows NAB trail in retail banking. Their strength is business and institutional banking.

    Sometimes I wonder who the advertising is for – the consumers or for the industry to show itself how clever it is.

  7. GreatStrategy
    24 Jul 12
    12:26 pm

  8. if NAB is trailing in retail banking, wouldn’t The Break Up campaign then be an ideal campaign to win over retail banking customers?

  9. Ben
    24 Jul 12
    12:46 pm

  10. “Nike’s marketing director Juliana Nguyen nominated the Adidas Impossible Is Nothing campaign which featured athletes talking about the challenges they had overcome. She said: ‘It was a good position for them.”

    Isn’t “people overcoming hurdles” Nike’s strategy? Only in a more clever way than Adidas’? E.g. Tiger Woods, women, Brazilian football players and Dominican Republican basketball players.

  11. Banking in a social world
    24 Jul 12
    1:10 pm

  12. @ GreatStrategy

    if NAB is trailing in retail banking, wouldn’t it be better for them to design leading products and stepping up their service levels to customers. If they were truly “great”, word would soon get around.

    I would use Vodafone if I could get a reception with them. I will never use them unless I hear that they are offering a superior service to either Telstra or Optus, no matter how many Ashes series they sponsor. Likewise I am sure people would bank with NAB if they got through to a smart Australian when they called their customer service centre, who could empathise, listen and solve. Why do NAB need a clever campaign to win over customers in 2012? Surely it is all about the offering and the service, get that right and people will talk other people into going with them?

  13. archie
    24 Jul 12
    1:16 pm

  14. thank you @ I wonder

    seems clear to me that the NAB campaign was made to win an award, not customers

    i mean, how many would have serendipitously encountered the idea executed across all its formats? perhaps 20 or 30?

    and then as soon as they read, heard or watched that NAB had held back interest rate cuts from mortgage customers, any notion that NAB was different disappeared in an instant

  15. Banking in a social world
    24 Jul 12
    1:31 pm

  16. Actually. How about one of the banks creates their last ever advertising campaign! Along the lines of:

    We have decided that products, service and community is most important to banking customers, so we are going to cut all of our traditional marketing dollars and invest them into these three area’s. If you like our new offering we know that you will tell your friends and family. If you don’t like it, then we must get better.

    (Probably would have to employ a social team to get announcements out etc, so it is not a full marketing cull.)

    In a digital age do large companies like NAB need fluffy ad’s to make sales when ‘the people’ will tell them whats what regardless on social networks?