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Three lessons from NAB’s ‘You’re dumped’ advertising campaign

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One of the ‘Big Four’ has recently decided it wants no more. At least that is the gist of a new advertising campaign by NAB. Post-Valentine’s Day, the big bank announced that it was ‘breaking up’ with the other three banks – ANZ, CBA and Westpac – in a series of ads stating that they had moved on by charging lower fees and interest rates and supporting local businesses.

And while there have been critics of NAB’s divide with the other three, there is no doubt that the campaign has certainly piqued interest in consumer circles. Here are the lessons to take from NAB’s recent adverts.

1. Differentiate yourself from your competition

The very premise of the advertisements – “At least I’m really trying to be a better bank,” it says – is that NAB is different from its competitors. And, in an industry where the ‘Big Four’ have been lumped together as virtually one-and-the-same, differentiation is crucial. This is what NAB has done to a T. NAB’s previous tagline “Give more, take less” has been overthrown in favour of the “You’re dumped” tag. Memorable, different and original.

Further, NAB wrote a ‘fake’ Twitter message on its page – “Soooo stressed out. Have to make a tough decision and I know I’ll probably hurt someone’s feelings! Arrggghhh” – which was largely thought to be a slip of the finger by a junior manager accidentally logged in, so much so that Westpac tweeted “Hey @NAB know the feeling”. The next day NAB announced it would pay early exit fees for CBA and Westpac mortgage holders and true nature of the tweet was revealed. This is an example of clever marketing in the social media space.

2. Go hard or go home

Delivery is key – and NAB’s premise was that delivery should be everywhere. Bus stops, magazine ads, newspaper inserts … even a floating banner in the sky. If you didn’t hear the relationship was over, you were living under a rock.

Then, NAB released videos of prank singing ambushes on executive staff of CBA, ANZ and Westpac, which quickly became a favourite in the YouTube space.

The lesson is that if you’re investing the money in advertising, there’s no point in doing so half-heartedly.

3. Make news

There’s no such thing as bad publicity (though Tiger Woods may disagree) and this advertising campaign has stirred a pot of controversy with the other banks’ hitting out at the claim NAB’s made. One senior Westpac executive told staff that NAB’s claims of Westpac’s fees were incorrect and that they were not losing business to the other bank.

True or not, the publicity has certainly generated free advertising for the campaign.

If you’re looking to work on your business rather than being stuck in it, book in for a complimentary business assessment today with Switzer Business Coaching.

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Published on: Thursday, February 24, 2011

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