Squirrelling customers

Published 17 May 2012 05:05, Updated 17 May 2012 10:22

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Squirrelling customers

Bankwest’s advertising campaign is based on challenging the Big Four banks, Bankwest’s retail bank chief executive, Vittoria Shortt, pictured, says. She describes Bankwest as a “challenger” brand whose positioning is analogous to Jetstar’s strategy in the airlines industry. “Everything we do is about challenging the norms of banking,” Shortt says. “Characters” are used, she explains.

“We get animals to advertise both on television and in print. The animals on television talk, which is why we call them characters. We also use humour, which hasn’t been used (much) in banking. The combination of the two gives us good positioning.”

What impressed the judges was how the bank was able to show the results of its campaigns. In its “Click to Chat” campaign for example, it used Garry the Squirrel to promote its online instant messaging service. Over the life of the campaign it saw a 25 per cent increase in the use of the service. Overall during four years of its Happy Banking campaign it has increased customer numbers by 43 per cent.

Bankwest was acquired in 2008 by the Commonwealth bank of Australia, which means it is part of the Big Four but Shortt says Bankwest is run “completely independently”. “We have our own marketing team and product team. I wouldn’t classify anything about Bankwest as part of the Big Four. We are trying to carve out our own place in the market.”

To see the other winners:

The Body Shop (Multi Channel Retailer of the Year)

Woolworths (Sustainable Retailer of the Year)

Bankwest (Successful Retail Marketing Campaign of the Year)

Dan Murphy’s (Outstanding Retailer of the Year)

Aussie Farmers (Best Customer Experience)

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