Despite being half a world away, I’ve been paying attention to the big re-brand of Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA) that seems to be the talk of the media and communications town in Australia at present – the biggest re-brand in the banking sector since NAB’s ‘Break up’ campaign.
Following a teaser campaign around the word ‘Can’t’, the CBA unveiled its new brand position of ‘Can’; a campaign including print and TV advertising, social media across its Facebook and Twitter accounts, a dedicated website, a mobile banking app called ‘Kaching’ (previously launched), and a pretty cool augmented reality app launched in conjunction with News Limited newspapers.
‘Can’ teaser campaign videos via Mumbrella.
A selection of the new ‘Can’ TV advertisements. The ‘ode to can’ commercial featuring Toni Collette is currently unavailable, but can be viewed on the CBA Facebook page.
While it’s early days for the new brand position and we’re yet to see the results, I was really interested to watch this video interview (not embeddable sadly) that Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes posted – featuring CBA CMOO Andy Lark, Tom McFarlane (Executive Creative Director, M&C Saatchi), Tony Kendall (News Limited Australia Sales), Scott O’Brien (Explore Engage) and Neil Breen (The Sunday Telegraph).
Given the scope of the re-brand and the allocation of transmedia resources to bring it to life, I believe there are some early observations for marketing and communication professionals from the interview – even at this early stage.
1. ‘Traditional’ media are far from dead.
Yes, we’ve all read the posts from doomsayers claiming that the end is near for our beloved TV and print media. While traditional media are undergoing their own unique evolution and expansion into the social and digital spheres, dollars and creative strategy are still being utilised in the traditional spaces as part of integrated, cross-platform campaigns.
2. Hit all the touch-points.
Connected consumers want to engage in their platform of preference, and on their terms – and brands need to plan and execute their outreach and engagement accordingly. It was great to see CBA CEO Ian Narev blog about the new brand position and share it across the bank’s social channels. Communication is now transmedia – and you don’t have to be a traditional media monolith or gatekeeper to produce stories and play in the space.
3. Tell a story (or multiple stories).
Again, we’ve all read the posts about the importance of storytelling. It’s nice to see a brand the size of CBA come out and put “lifestage stories being told through Facebook” (Mumbrella quote) as part of its strategy. In a recent episode of his Six Pixels of Separation podcast, Mitch Joel interviewed Jonathan Salem Baskin about the importance of truth in marketing. In short, people relate to people – and I hope the CBA takes the opportunity to tell some real stories that add to the TV commercials that outline the products, services and calls to action that encompass ‘Can’.
4. Don’t be afraid to innovate (and measure).
While not all businesses will have the budget of CBA, the CBA/News Limited/Explore Engage collaboration is an interesting example of exploring new media innovation in the context of current media trends (in this case, second screen experiences) to reinforce and drive home a brand message and integrate with the traditional, social and mobile marketing and communication strategy and tactics.
That is, CBA ‘Can’ bring the newspaper to life, literally! More than that, it can measure just how much its consumers use this piece of innovation. As Scott mentions in the interview – hardcore innovation and ROI is no longer a gimmick – it has arrived.
Again, while we’re yet to see the figures and results of this piece of innovation, it’s worth observing how this progresses, and thinking about how your own brand can leverage innovation and trends to communicate your story and message, and measure accordingly.
So, while it’s still early days for Commonwealth Bank and ‘Can’, there’s plenty for marketers and communicators to keep their collective eyes on as this brand positioning evolves and the results start to come through.
I look forward to seeing the team at CBA prove to Australia that they ‘Can’.
What do you think?
Have you been paying attention to the launch of ‘Can’? If so, what do you think of CBA’s efforts to date? What have you taken from the positioning so far?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.