NAB ‘bankers’ tied to lamp posts in Break Up stunt

NAB has built on its award-winning Break Up campaign, which won the PR grand prix at Cannes yesterday, with a publicity stunt that saw two of its bankers tied to a lamp post this morning – one in Sydney’s Belmore Park, the other in Melbourne’s Southbank – to illustrate NAB’s lack of popularity among its rivals.

The activity hopes to gain the attention of commuters as they pass on their way to work and will also be filmed and used as an online film for NAB’s online platforms and in social media.

NAB’s chief marketing officer Sandra de Castro, who downplayed winning at Cannes yesterday, told Mumbrella: “The Break Up started on 15 February, and it hasn’t stopped. We’re not very popular with the other banks at the moment, and need to express this in a range of different ways.”

On the longevity of the campaign, De Castro commented: “We have deliberately chosen this route of differentiation – and we’re absolutely committed to it. The break up continues. What the others [banks] do, is up to them.”


  1. richie
    22 Jun 11
    11:31 am

  2. love it .

    theres just so much you can do with this idea!

  3. Rex
    22 Jun 11
    11:48 am

  4. Tie up the Telco leaders to telegraph poles? Is that what you had in mind Richie?

  5. Anonymous
    22 Jun 11
    11:54 am

  6. Fantastic. Very clever and so nice to see De Castro putting more importance on the strategy and direction rather than the award.

  7. Anonymous
    22 Jun 11
    11:56 am

  8. Fair play to NAB. They’re busting finance advertising conventions wide open.

    Good for them!

  9. Steve
    22 Jun 11
    11:57 am

  10. Fiar play to NAB, they’re breaking the mould when it comes to finance advertising.

    I take my hat off!

  11. Sara
    22 Jun 11
    12:05 pm

  12. Love the campaign idea just a shame that NAB hasn’t actually done anything in the past year to make me think they really are different to the other big banks (actually wait, they have. They’ve stuffed up computer systems twice in that time meaning that a mass amount of people didn’t get paid when they should have been. Yep, I really want to change to a bank that didn’t learnt from its first mistake).

    Congrats to the agencies involved though, it is a fun idea. Pity the subject couldn’t deliver on the advertising promises.

  13. Laura Verrelli
    22 Jun 11
    12:06 pm

  14. Maybe I just have a short attention span, but I wish that they would take this campaign in a completely new direction, rather than just rolling out different executions of the same message. Message has been received, loud and clear. It doesn’t feel new and exciting anymore to me.

  15. Kate
    22 Jun 11
    12:06 pm

  16. No matter how hard it tries NAB will always be part of “the big four”.

  17. nickatnights
    22 Jun 11
    12:17 pm

  18. I hope they don’t get back together. This is too much fun.

  19. Tom
    22 Jun 11
    12:33 pm

  20. Does anyone know what lines the “banker” was using? I think I heard, “help is on its way” or something like that…

  21. WTF
    22 Jun 11
    12:59 pm

  22. Like.

  23. Alice Terlikowski
    22 Jun 11
    1:02 pm

  24. Hi Tom,

    This is what the banker says in the video:
    “We’ve been ruffling a few feathers with some of the other banks (answering a question: No, NAB do pay really well) … But look, help is on the way so you guys have nothing to worry about. It’s all going to work itself out. I’ll be down in a jiffy, have a cup of coffee, get the circulation going again.”

    He was also telling people to go to the NAB branch around the corner and tell bank staff “It’s happened again” and they would know to come down to the park and cut him down.

    Hope that helps.


    Alice – Mumbrella

  25. Rex
    22 Jun 11
    1:08 pm

  26. The only point of difference between the big four banks is their advertising.

  27. Chris
    22 Jun 11
    1:28 pm

  28. Its all a crock. How can NAB break up with the other banks when it is a leading shareholder in most of them through National Nominees???

  29. Dan
    22 Jun 11
    1:34 pm

  30. Agree with Rex. Under the surface they’re all the same, the systems, the processes.

    But hey, it’s all about perception isn’t it? It would be nice if all four of the major banks ploughed those huge profits into some worthwhile IT systems that actually delivered better service to customers – that would make a real difference, instead of just talking about it all the time.

  31. Chris
    22 Jun 11
    1:41 pm

  32. This just keeps getting better. Sure, all the banks are pretty much the same – trying to maximise profits for shareholders. Fact is though that with NAB running this advertising campaign, consumers are going to percieve them as being different to the others and will flock to them; as witnessed by the figures released showing massive increases in loan enquiries.

  33. Spongebob Squarepants
    22 Jun 11
    1:57 pm

  34. Is it just me, or do these comments reek of astroturfing?

  35. JHG
    22 Jun 11
    2:00 pm

  36. @ Rex – perfect point. Their ads can be as creative as they like but if the product is all the same dross then it’s futile. Why say you are breaking up from the other big banks and then continue to do as any big bank does?

  37. MattP
    22 Jun 11
    2:11 pm

  38. Agreed, actions speak louder than words. This is a fun execution of the idea but NAB must now deliver some exceptional and genuinely different products (including to existing customers!) to prove how different they are . . .

  39. Rex
    22 Jun 11
    2:24 pm

  40. I don’t think consumers are that stupid.

  41. Human
    22 Jun 11
    2:41 pm

  42. not funny – not interesting – just immature

    you may win over the hearts of idiotic young people, but not the big spenders… [edited by Mumbrella].

  43. Peter Petrovski
    22 Jun 11
    2:50 pm

  44. Fantastic campaign, using social media first rather than just an add-on at the end.

    Lot’s of creative potential for this campaign, enjoyed the pianist serenading bankers outside their competitor’s office.

    Unfortunately I have to agree with what someone said that all banks are the same and it’s just their advertising that differs.

  45. Sven
    22 Jun 11
    3:25 pm

  46. Astroturfarama.

    While cute, this campaign seems to be targetted to the marketing media more than actual customers. Most consumers wouldn’t have a clue about the campaign, nor the fact that it began with a tweet, nor did they witness the experiential elements

    what has the real world impact been outside of the readers of media pages and blogs?

    Would be a mistake to assume that any consumer believes nab is different. If this is asserted as a campaign outcome can we see the research results please?

  47. Rob
    22 Jun 11
    4:16 pm

  48. I just find the high rotation usage of their TV ads annoying, and as previously stated, their lack of improved performance with existing customers makes me think they should get back in collusions and find out what software they are using!

  49. Roger
    22 Jun 11
    8:11 pm

  50. Sven, you might want to have a look at the Cannes Grand Prix winning vid if you want to know more about the campaign’s results.

    Alternatively just do a google search on any one of the many articles that have been written about the campaign’s success.

    This is far from a marketing media centric initiative. This campaign has delivered results the likes of which the marketing world has rarely seen before.

    Do some basic research before you mouth off like an ill-informed prat.

    As for research results I can assure you they’re pretty impressive too. Whilst not for public consumption may I suggest you speak to any CommBank/Westpac/ANZ staffer you may have know or meet and ask them how they think the campaign has gone. They have lost tens of thousands of customers to NAB as a result of this campaign and the brand tracking measures will be making them sh*t themselves.

  51. Nick
    22 Jun 11
    9:10 pm

  52. What have they done to be different? They say they have changed but i dont see it, just talk.

  53. Craig
    22 Jun 11
    9:59 pm

  54. Clem’s staff out in force in the comments. Getting ridiculous guys.

  55. overdrawn
    22 Jun 11
    10:03 pm

  56. Yawn zzzzzzz, PR and Spin just banks talking to each other, notthing else to say and nothing really changes. .

  57. quickly pull my eyes out
    22 Jun 11
    11:19 pm

  58. @ Roger

    “you might want to have a look at the Cannes Grand Prix winning vid if you want to know more about the campaign’s results.”


    clearly you havent entered any awards lately. if you had of, you’d know its hardly where you would find any honest results. especially having marked some entries from the very same agency recently that read like blah blah blah blah

    obviously you need something to enter, but the only people who believe those case studies are the people who made them, and their friends in Cannes

  59. Anonymous
    24 Jun 11
    9:09 am

  60. Frankly, I have a choice between 4 banks and NAB at the moment is saving me the most money – so I’ve gone to them and will stay with them until one of the other banks save me more money – these advertising campaigns just promulgate the message on who is the cheapest at any given time

  61. tc
    24 Jun 11
    11:12 am

  62. Personally, I find this particular campaign completely lame. I struggle to believe that it’s improving customer perceptions of NAB.

  63. overdrawn
    24 Jun 11
    11:23 pm

  64. The fact is they don’t tell/demonstrate anything in the advert confirms nothing has changed. Not many advertisers have that luxury.