The teaser campaign for the relaunch of what claims to be one of Australia’s most iconic brands has moved into its digital phase – and marshalled one of the internet’s most reliable memes – a cute kitten.
Debate is currently raging online about which brand is behind the relaunch – due to be unveiled at the weekend. While consensus is that the project is the work of one of the big four banks, opinion is divided on whether it is CommBank or Westpac.
The What Is Can’t? website – previously parked as a Melbourne IT domain – has now gone live with the large image of the kitten.
The site also links to a Twitter profile which has been tweeting since Sunday on such philosophical topics as “If a tweet is sent but there are no followers to read it, does the tweet exist?”. The Twitter account has been posting about heavily hashtagged topics, and inserting the #CANT into the conversation.
What is #CANT?
A teaser campaign for the rebranding of an iconic Australian brand is built around the word "can’t" More at http://mumbrella.com.au/iconic-australia-brand-to-launch-revamp-campaign-is-it-commbank-92683
Storified by Tim Burrowes · Mon, May 21 2012 19:21:31
That insecure feeling not knowing if anyone will read your very first tweet. #FirstWorldProblems. #CANT tell.CAN’T
If a tweet is sent but there are no followers to read it, does the tweet exist? #CANT philosophy. Not quite #Kant philosophy.CAN’T
Bet you plenty of people in #Sydney #CANT get out of bed tomorrow #SydneyHalfMarathon @smhonlineCAN’T
#CANT wait for room reveal tonight! #TheBlockCAN’T
Surely #CANT leave now? #Drogba #Chelsea #UCL http://ow.ly/b1xmqCAN’T
#CANT take that as a comment #qandaCAN’T
So much deliciousness on @MasterChef last night. #CANT wait for the next dinner partyCAN’T
Pointers towards it being CommBank:
One factor pointing to CommBank is timing. M&C Saatchi recently picked up Commonwealth Bank, and new chief marketing officer Andy Lark has now been in the role long enough to begin to make a decisive mark.
In another small clue, CommBank’s press office is yet to deny it is behind the campaign – 24 hours after being asked by Mumbrella, the bank has not returned a comment, a relatively unusual move by a usually efficient press team.
Another senior source within the marketing team has indicated that there would be more to say later in the week. This ties in with an invitation to an embargoed press briefing at a mystery Sydney CBD location on Friday.
Another hint comes from the fact that the domain is registered to Melbourne IT, which also manages other CommBank domains.
An anonymous person claiming to have the inside story has posted on Mumbrella:
This is a 7-day teaser campaign for the CBA brand strategy revamp to launch on Sunday night. Lark briefed all (execs) and sundry (marketing teams) last Friday at a secret squirrel off-site meeting. This week, all 1023 branches will receive a sealed package with explicit instructions not to open it until 28 May 2012. Managers of branches, call centres and back office areas have been instructed to arrive early next week to support the launch at their site.
Pointers towards it being Westpac:
Commenters on Mumbrella have pointed towards the fact that a contact name on the registration for the domain is somebody called Ashley King. They also point towards a LinkedIn profile for somebody of the same name who works at Westpac.
Like CommBank, Westpac’s press office has not yet commented on whether it is behind the campaign.
The teaser campaign coincides with the tail end of a similar one to the much discussed – and in some quarters criticised – “Wake Up” campaign to promote BlackBerry.
Update 11.20: The kitten image on the ‘Can’t’ campaign website was replaced temporarily with a crop circle.