Why NAB shouldn’t have said sorry for mocking country music

In this guest post, Eaon Pritchard reckons NAB was mistaken for caving in to pressure from country music fans and ditching its ad.

I do get sad seeing a former client make a hash of things.

NAB have copped some flack for their radio ad which takes the mickey out of a country music stereotype.

So they’ve publicly pulled the ad and apologised.


They say that they should have understood that not everyone has the same taste in music.

The fact that they crumbled at the first sign of unrest from a few outspoken voices from rural Australia is not the saddest part.

The sad fact remains that they somehow believed, and still believe, that country music isn’t cool.

When, of course, it’s just about the coolest shit there is.

Gram Parsons, Steve Earl and Uncle Tupelo, anyone?

But country fans are outlaws and outsiders. A tribe. They’re different from the mainstream. You could almost say they have decided to ‘break-up’ from the dominant popular culture.

If only there was a brand that stood for those kind of values?

Rather than taking a smug cheap shot at a easy target cliche, NAB would have been better advised to compared bank fees to X-Factor wannabees or Big Brother nonentities. Because ‘certainly’ no-one likes that garbage.

And ‘certainly’ there would be no customer revolt from hardcore XFactor fans demanding retribution.

Because there is no-one who gives enough of a shit.

But of course NAB have already sponsored those quality additions to the culture.

File this one under Dunning-Kruger Effect.

Eaon Pritchard is the director of brand strategy at Sputnik Agency


  1. Moscow glazed
    20 Feb 13
    10:24 am

  2. It was genuinely funny and in good taste. If it were Bieber or Nickelback related it would have been “fair game”. Soft reaction from NAB, advertising is meant to create a reaction.

  3. Groucho
    20 Feb 13
    10:40 am

  4. I’m offended by high credit card rates, and I’m sure lots of other people are too, so lets complain to NAB and they will withdraw them. Yea, right.

  5. zeffd
    20 Feb 13
    11:45 am

  6. eaon
    20 Feb 13
    1:56 pm

  7. @zeffd top tune.

  8. NS
    20 Feb 13
    3:31 pm

  9. when will corporates stand up to the bullying of self-important, humourless but vocal minority interests?

  10. TeamAwesome
    20 Feb 13
    3:40 pm

  11. “I do get sad seeing a former client make a hash of things”.

    This is what we as marketers may think.

    What do their customers think?

  12. Richard Moss
    20 Feb 13
    4:22 pm

  13. The great raconteur Shelly Berman, once pointed out that after a show where he had told a fictional story about getting drunk at a party where he went on to throw the host’s cat out of the window and later threw the host’s Mother out of the same window, he claimed to have received thousands of letters from cat lovers, but not one from anyone who loved his/her mother.

    I love the opera, I love Gregorian chants and Jewish cantorial singing , but I would be surprised to find many people in my immediate neighborhood who would be happy to give up a few hours and join me in the experience.
    I quite enjoy some country music, but I know at least a dozen people who can’t stand it.

    It is hypersensitive and even arrogant of any group of music fans to attack such a basic truth, as the fact that not everyone likes country music, or jazz, or folk, blues, opera or any other particular musical preference.

    Ads must justify their claims (golden superlative) but it seems that the Facebook Petition can claim to speak for “ALL COUNTRY MUSIC FANS ” in one fell swoop.

  14. Meowing Mike
    25 Feb 13
    8:28 am

  15. The Big Four spend a considerable amount of money placating the Rural/Regional market as it is. NAB were probably knee-jerking with that in mind.

    But yes, I agree with Eaon; easy, somewhat cliche, target.