We’re not like Barbara the bank manager, ANZ tells consumers

Barbara the unhelpful bank clerk features in a new ANZ ad from M&C Saatchi Melbourne, in which a customer discovers that in bank world what you see is rarely what you get.

The Paul Middleditch directed ad, which broke at the weekend, features comedian Genevieve Morris.


  • CLIENT Paul Riley (Head of Retail Product Marketing); Linda Manos (Senior Manager Brand & Advertising); Melissa Hendrickson (Senior Manager Marketing Deposits); Lucy Gribble (Senior Advertising and Integrated Campaigns Manager)
  • CREATIVE Steve Crawford (Creative Director); Doogie Chapman (Senior Copywriter); Tony Leishman (Senior Art Director)
  • ACCOUNT SUPERVISOR Kimberley Milburn (Group Account Director) Daniel Loukidis (Account Director)
  • AGENCY PRODUCER Karen Muxworthy
  • EDITOR Peter Whitmore. The Editors.
  • DIRECTOR Paul MIddleditch, Plaza Films
  • PRODUCTION CO PRODUCER Peter Masterton, Plaza Films
  • SOUND Barry Stewart Sound Reservoir


  1. Anonymous
    18 Jan 10
    9:37 pm

  2. I would actually suggest that Barbara is an excellent representation of an ANZ staff member.

    FAIL – due to reminding me why I don’t bank with ANZ

  3. Rog
    18 Jan 10
    9:40 pm

  4. It’s a good ad but another example of a product/service that simply doesn’t live up to its promise.

  5. Alan
    19 Jan 10
    5:24 am

  6. This is definitely the ANZ bank

  7. Rob
    19 Jan 10
    8:52 am

  8. a bank doing this ad is like a doctor using a band-aid on my severed arm……totally failing to address the real problem

  9. anothermous
    19 Jan 10
    9:49 am

  10. Smiling ANZ staff welcoming customers??? Where??? Barbara simply reinforces most normal peoples perceptions of the real world of Australian banking and even highlights the great fee rip off that they all indulge in… Weird strategy … no wonder a stretch target for all banks is to be the least hated

  11. Robbo
    19 Jan 10
    10:37 am

  12. “Maybe if we say we’re not like every other bank, then people will believe us, even thouhg we’re not”

    Again the marketing department trying to address consumer issues via advertising whilst leaving the actual issues in the too hard basket.

    Everyone knows that every Bank and Telco’s main priority is to extract every last cent from us whilst smuggly smiling at you from behind ads like this.

  13. Stuart Sheridan
    19 Jan 10
    12:16 pm

  14. Better off spending all the production & media money on branch staff bonus payments for consumer rated feedback on their smiles, attitude, friendliness and general customer satisfaction.

    Don’t boast about it, actually DO IT.

  15. itsdra
    19 Jan 10
    11:32 pm


    Barbara personifies what all my experiences in ANZ have been like. No joke. I have had this EXACT conversation with different ANZ staff a number of times!

    Way to kick dirt in a customers face.

    Well produced and witty ad -wrong product/bank! FAIL

  17. Simon T
    20 Jan 10
    9:01 am

  18. ANZ’s new brand strategy is obviously trying to make ANZ seem more approachable with the ‘We live in your world’. The problem is that the only way they’re trying to prove that is by saying ‘We live in your world’ there are no specific, tangible prove points that make that believable, if anything it alienates me because I think, do they?

    Westpac’s ‘local branch manager’ campaign is achieving a brand position of approachable, understanding & they live in our world but by inferring it and talking about the tangible reasons – Local branch managers name, personality, face & what that branch deals with specifically – creative & media working well together.

    Westpac WIN – ANZ FAIL!

  19. Simon T
    20 Jan 10
    9:02 am

  20. If the ad above simply included 5 seconds about what ANZ are changing to be more like this, then maybe we’d believe & try them out.

  21. Good Comms
    20 Jan 10
    9:14 am

  22. This is a risky approach, as the negativity of the Barbara message often stays with the customer, especially for those who have had bad experiences with the bank.

    As SimonT said, Westpacs ‘real staff’ approach, though done 1000 times before and launched at the same time as an ill advised rate rise, is better. Maybe more focus on benefits, rather than the competition, would have stood them in a better place in the consumers mind.

  23. Lisa O
    21 Jan 10
    9:58 am

  24. It’s just lippy on a piggy. Away with your aspirational nonsense please, give me something real.

  25. Ben
    21 Jan 10
    10:37 am

  26. i thought the ad was good – i’m an ANZ customer and am always really happy with the service I get which is a welcome change from my old bank

  27. Anon
    21 Jan 10
    10:56 am

  28. freaking hilarious though not sure if it can live up to it’s promise.

  29. Mac_Skeem
    21 Jan 10
    11:13 am

  30. Seems a bit hypocritical on ANZ’s part, I received service that very much resembled the lady in the ad. I’ve had an ANZ card for 3 years and now that my debt is nearly zero, I cant wait to dump them, St George IMHO better by a country mile. Well at least the St G staff at Newtown are.

  31. Daniel Cheah
    21 Jan 10
    2:43 pm

  32. The colour scheme of the “Bank” that Barbara works for looks remarkably similar to the CBA colours….

    Subtle dig at the competition, eh? LOL!

  33. Leonie
    22 Jan 10
    11:40 am

  34. I absolutely love Barbara.

  35. Lolliepop
    27 Jan 10
    9:46 pm

  36. Babara you are so awesome! well done fantastic acting unbeliveable….. a ha ha lol
    “when i said no i ment no with a silent k…. ha ha genious

  37. Babara
    27 Jan 10
    9:51 pm

  38. OMG!?!? I just saw the secound add to this and it is sooo funny…. classic quote….. Guy: “i would like to speak the manager…”
    Barbara…. “umm yer(she looks around behind her) that would be me”
    LOL! ver hard to explain have to see it 4ur self..

  39. Troy
    29 Jan 10
    12:35 am

  40. Great Ad…actually i came across this article which has ANZ as one of the leading for customer service.


  41. EEB
    2 Feb 10
    9:02 pm

  42. Does anyone know where I can view the second ad online with Barbara sitting in the office with the guy in a green shirt? It is too funny.

  43. Emily
    3 Feb 10
    12:38 pm

  44. Babs is the perfect representation of an ANZ branch manager! Similarly to the ad, I approched a branch manager about lodging a complaint (after several months of email wars). The response I got was:

    “There are several ways we can address your issue :

    Phone : Customer Response Centre on 1800 805 154 ( 8.00 am – 7.00 pm weekdays )

    email ; yourfeedback@anz.com

    or write to ; ANZ Customer Response Centre
    Locked Bag 4050
    South Melbourne , Vic 3205″

    She really should have followed up with a “…not my problem!…”

    Must admit though…the ads are a cracker!!

  45. Naomi
    5 Feb 10
    4:05 am

  46. This is why I’m with as credit union. This ad just sums up the reason I’ll never end up with a bank. Barbara represents pretty much every bank manager and most head offices when you call them on your home phone.
    Fail = ANZ
    ANZ = Fail