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He Drives Me Crazy… Roland’s Back With Bankdirect

He Drives Me Crazy… Roland’s Back With Bankdirect

Roland Gift, lead singer of the Fine Young Cannibals and known by many New Zealanders as the ‘face’ of the country’s first Direct bank, BankDirect, re-appeared on television screens last night after an absence of four years.

His opening line? “Boo!”

Kevin Leith, Head of BankDirect, says the time is right to go back on television to reinforce the evolution of Direct Banking and Roland Gift was the obvious choice to front this.

“We certainly researched Roland’s return thoroughly. The findings have consistently shown that Roland remains well connected to BankDirect in the minds of Kiwi consumers. Even today, four years from Roland’s last TV appearance, consumers still recall the original campaign. And as recently as last month, advertising industry experts put the campaign on a shortlist of the 18 best* campaigns from the last 20 years.”

“There are some differences this time round. When we launched BankDirect we were also launching the idea of internet and telephone banking. Within six years consumers have embraced the concept of branchless banking, and internet banking is commonplace. So we’ve focussed on the other things that set us apart when we launched – the directness and simplicity of our services.

“The original campaign relied on heavy visual effects to create a futuristic feel. The 2003 campaign, developed in conjunction with our ad agency BIG Communications is more personable yet still direct,” says Mr Leith.

BIG Communications Managing Director, Ant Salmon says “Bringing back Roland was a logical next step once we’d decided that BankDirect would be back on TV. Research reinforced that the public remember him well. They strongly associate him with BankDirect, and the way he delivers the messages is a perfect fit with the no nonsense approach of BankDirect.”

To add to their suite of home lending products, BankDirect is also launching the ability for customers to text (TXT) the bank for the latest home lending rates, or to ask for BankDirect to give them a call the next day about mortgage options – a New Zealand first. The TV campaign will reveal details of the interactive TXT service in the weeks ahead.

“We felt that the likelihood of a consumer interrupting a television programme they’ve chosen to watch in order to call a bank about a home loan was pretty remote. So we’re developing a tool whereby they can just TXT us and we’ll call them the following day. It’s a great example our passion for simple yet smart ideas which deliver convenience to our customers.”

*As short listed by 50 creative suits, marketers and researchers…more information at:

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