Goodby presents 'Anthem' to Comm Bank

Picture 10.pngThe Commonwealth Bank launches its long-awaited branding work from Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco on Australia Day with a mockumentary-style campaign based around the bank working with its cast of well-meaning, but culturally clueless American advertising executives and invariably polite, persistent and patient Australian clients.
Launching on Nine during the cricket, Ten during the tennis and Foxtel/Austar tomorrow, there will be a video broadcast on NineMSN with live screening at Martin Place and Hyde Park. Running for a week it will be followed by a spot featuring the Australian cricket team and then a home loans spot. A MICROSITE has been developed which will showcase the ads with backgrounders about the cast members, which includes a copywriter/art director called Luke and Luke.

The Commonwealth's Bank marketing general manager Mark Buckman says the campaign hasn't been tested with the general public - the LAUNCH COMMERCIAL was only finished twenty minutes before he flew back from San Francisco last night - but he is confident the general public media is savvy enough to get it. He adds that picking up on the humour is not reliant on the general public knowing the bank used an American agency.

When the first half of the commercial appeared on YouTube this morning, bloggers went into over-drive unsure whether it was a joke or the real offering, a reaction that reflects the scrutiny the bank has been under since appointing the US agency nine months ago.

Says Buckman: "It is intended to break the conventions of banking marketing and give something different that will stand out on Australian television. We saw multiple options before we landed on this campaign, which we think is bold and exciting. It's quite provocative and is certainly different to what we have done before. We think it is really funny, sort of like Seinfeld meets The Office, but most importantly it gives us a device to communicate the many different ways the Commonwealth Bank is different to our competitors."

Goodby, which was recently named Advertising Age's and AdWeek's Agency of the Year, presented about three campaigns to the agency including one Buckman is calling a "safe" approach, which the bank rejected in favour of this more entertaining and edgier idea.

"In this media savvy world....being able to engage with the Australian public on an emotional level and connect with them in a way they will want to connect with us and find out more about the Comm Bank so what we have created is more like a sitcom series than it is conventional advertising," he says, admitting that it was partly inspired by the experience they had working on the campaign.

Goodby's Steve Simpson, creative director on the campaign, says the agency is fictional and is not Goodby, but plays on Americans being a convenient foil for all the excesses of marketing and taps into the fascination for advertising.

Says Simpson: "Everyone is now a filmmaker as we see on YouTube, we invite the public to make their own commercials, user-generated content is all the rage and everyone I ever meet who finds out I'm in advertising has had an ad idea so there is this interest in what goes on behind-the-scenes so the making of this stuff becomes the subject of the advertising. There are clear stylistic nods to the Office, the way the silence is played, the awkwardness of the client's reaction."

Print and outdoor ads, web advertising and in-brand materials will put the Bank's message more simply, offering proof points of the Commonwealth's new truth.
The Commonwealth Bank's group executive, human resources and group services, Barbara Chapman says most people had a view of the bank as a traditional, established big bank, part of Australia but lacking in momentum and a bit lacking in energy: "Internally I see an organization that is quite different, it is going through a transformation of change and is focusing very much on the customer and customer service and our vision to excel in customer service is coming to life as we speak in every interaction that we have. It's an unusual position where the perception of the bank is a little bit behind the reality."

She says 70% of its customers as nine or ten out of ten for their most recent branch interaction, making the biggest marketing challenge that of getting that perception changed among customers and staff: "It's not just a tagline, 'determined to be different' is something we are going to live up to and we are living up to and will live up to that every single day. We are prepared to be judged by that commitment and that determination and it's not determined to be different from where we have been but to be different from every other bank in this market," she says.

AGENCY: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco
CREATIVE DIRECTORS: Rich Silverstein, Steve Simpson
COPYWRITERS: Pat McKay, Chris Beresford-Hill, Rick Condos
ART DIRECTORS: Feh Tarty, Will Hammond, Hunter Hindman
PRODUCERS: Barbro Eddy, Jake Grand
DIRECTOR: Eric Lynne
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Partizan Productions, Los Angeles



Anonymous said:

Um, I think I liked it more when it was just the 30 second cut down.

Anonymous said:

that is just brilliant. i feel so abused.

Anonymous said:

Crap. Not worth talking about. Anything interesting happening out there?

Anonymous said:

I've never felt so good after being so suckered. Hat's off.

Anonymous said:

An appalling in joke, whats the average Australian meant to make of that ?

The follow up ads better be good, besides it's a rip off of the ASB campaign in NZ, interestingly the same client has been involved in the development of both campaigns

Anonymous said:

Bring back "Which bank?"

Anonymous said:

Awful in so many ways. Wonder if the public (or at least the 'media-savvy' ones that this thing is aimed at) will assume that an Aussie agency did it. Oh fuck.

Anonymous said:

Obviously the 'sitcom' is set in the 1990's?

Anonymous said:

This idea was funnier when Jack in The box did it. "You're so fired".

Anonymous said:

lose the end bit -the max max bit's grouse

Anonymous said:

I can't believe this ad ever happened. Ever. Seriously WTF?

Anonymous said:

Right on3.03. Cut the cheesy cliched 90s advertising in-joke crap off the end of it, and they've got a winner. The ad within an ad thing's all a bit passe too. Just run the first 30 seconds guys, its great.

Anonymous said:

what a bunch of old vinegar tits creative bottom feeders. that's why they went off shore you fuckers....mee liiiike.

Anonymous said:

Spot on, 3:21

Anonymous said:

It just boggles my mind. No. Really it does.

Why would they want to draw attention to the fact they've spent millions appointing a US agency to make their ads by making an ad about a US agency that's spent millions making ads that aren't what the client wants?

Surely this fucks with the whole time-continuum loop thingamajig?

I do hope they have an episode where the CEO (let's call him "Ralph") invites the Marketing Team (let's call them "Barbera" and "Mark") in to explain the latest campaign to the Board.

Now THAT would make for an entertaining good spot.

Anonymous said:

I can see the meeting now.

"What are Aussies into?"

"Well, Koalas, obviously. Boomerangs - that's a given."

"Mad Max?"

"YES! YES! YES! They love that fuckin' movie. They all live out in the desert anyway. This commercial is like everything Aussies love in one fucking ad. There's no way it can fail."

"And the best bit is 'Determined to be Different' allows us to run absolutely anything with our favourite uber cool Seattle directors as long as it's different!"

"Todd, we've cracked it. Let's have lunch."

"And a celebratory drink?"

"No thank, I don't."

Anonymous said:

Well this goes to show that - as the ad also suggests - the Comm Bank marketing Team are just a bunch of fools.

Anonymous said:

First I was speechless, then I didn't know when to stop...

A $2 Million in-joke! No one other than the few poor bastards in the declining Australian ad industry will give a shit about this.

The sound you hear is the rest of Australia collectively saying "what the?" No one gives a fuck whether Comm Bank are using a U.S. agency...not one single person!

Would've been cheaper for Goodby Silverstein & Partners to take out a full page in B&T with a picture of Steve Simpson thumbing his nose at the rest of us.

Nice way for the bank's marketing people to get a few business class flights to LA and meet Michael Bay...hope the in-flight movies were good.

Anonymous said:

before anybody says "at least they're doing something different" just remember they ain't. Whybins do it for ASB and DDB did it with 'Chucky' for Telstra. what really amazes me is the bank has agreed to yet another 'different' positioning statement. Thats the last thing the commbank should be trying to claim.

Anonymous said:

It could have been interesting.

But really let down by heavy handed direction and (most likely) a butchered script.

It ended up being an irrelevant vanity project.

I was hoping for better.

Anonymous said:

Q: I wonder what paul hogan's lawyers would think of ant attempt at 'passing-off' crocodile dundee?

A: The same as george miller's will think about passng-off mad max!

Anonymous said:

Like you, we're entitled to an opinion 3.21 ya fuckwit, why don't you go offshore too.

Lighten up people said:

I like it - I just hope they don't do the traditional bank thing of adding in lots of boring bank bollocks and crappy legals after the launch ad.

Anonymous said:

aaah 4.13 back from lunch early then? yet another constructive 4 hours insulting everyone who knocked back all your potentially award winning scripts that never made it past the internal creative review

Anonymous said:

I think this is just what Goodby, Silverstein & Partners wanted. This is Hoopla people. Can you imagine the amount of free publicity we, ourselves will be generating for the brand? All the blogs, the press, arguments over a few pints of beer, all the "You'll never believe the new campaign for the Commonwealth Bank" all the "$2million for that! Bloody hell." We're doing it right now. They knew that the Australian ad industry would be sitting back waiting, sharpening our knives. Word of mouth is the oldest trick in the book. Just watch the amount of comments come flying in just on this blog alone.

Anonymous said:

In the next ep when the paul hogan rip off has beaten back the mad max koalas, all the survivors celebrate by going to a Men at Work Concert hosted by Dame Edna, preceded by a brief prayer of thanks lead by Mel Gibson.
It's bloody funny

Anonymous said:


1] 'Boring bank bolloocks and crappy legals' are legal mandatories. You can't make a bank ad featuring an interest rate or special home loan deal etc., etc without crappy 'legals'. That's why even you call them 'legals'.

2] "Traditional bank thing'. When you grow up you'll realise Comm Bank is a traditional bank. It's actually their strength. There's enough banks trying to be 'different'. Most Australians would just like one big bank to do the basics well.
If Comm Bank really wants to be different they should try being polite, answer calls promptly, say 'thankyou' for my business and acknowledge that I'm entitled to be rewarded for my loyalty. Most Australians would welcome that sort of 'different!'

3] The new Comm Bank campaign, NAB's 'Climbe every mountain' and Cascade's 'Tassie Tiger card game whatever' is what you get when people are obsessed with being 'different'. It's hard to know which one of these three is worse.

Anonymous said:

5:11 You are a clown. The ad industry's response is irrelevant.

Anonymous said:

5.11, word of mouth is all good and well but when that word of mouth is within the advertising community about advertising itself it doesn't really count. Joe Public from West Suburbia isn't reading this blog. He's just watching the ad asking 'what the fuck is an American ad agency doing in our nation's bank's ad?'
0.001% of us know Goodby has the account. Why they want to advertise this to everyone is beyond me, let alone trying to convince these Aussies to move all their bank accounts over to them.
If this campaign works, I'll eat my hat.

Anonymous said:

Well, they delivered on one thing they were getting a lot of bad press about. They did deliver the one campaign CBA could not get from any australian agency.

Anonymous said:

The only thing that this has in common with 'The Office' is that the last 30 seconds are set in a office. Cant find any Seinfeld references!

Brad said:

Am I the only one that thinks this is actually good? I think comedy is a bit dry in this first one, but it could grow into something great. The idea is great to me.

Anonymous said:

5.11 here here.

i reckon their super dooper media savvy audience will recognise this at yet another attempt by a large bank thats taking far too much of their money and getting rich off it as another vein attempt to conceal the fact they're bastards.

and if this ad done were aussies then aussies might actually have gotten it.

Anonymous said:

are there others? not too bad this one. show me another.

Anonymous said:

An advertising industry friend has asked for my opinion of the new Commonwealth Bank commercial. Assuming the advertising agency has no contract for the use of imagery that (to me) clearly represents Paul Hogan as Crocodile Dundee and Mad Max my advice is the producers of Mad Max and Crocodile Dundee commence legaal proceedings against the bank for infingement of copyright and demand the commercial be immediately taken off air . My advice to the bank is settle quickly.

Anonymous said:

No Brad, you aren't alone. I reckon I'm with zztop on this one "She's got legs...."

Anonymous said:

Hogan sued Grosby's for using the same sort of Croc Dundee image AND WON $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Anonymous said:

damn. here i've been watching the youtube sendup yesterday and then telling everyone, 'no just wait, it'll be good, it's goodby. I swear.'

Fuck me. Not very good at all. so freakin old school. damn.

Anonymous said:

Maybe the reason Comm Bank needed to go offshore to do this is that if it were set in an Australian advertising agency everyone would be called Anonymous

Oh, and Brad...

No... Brad's gotta be an American.

Anonymous said:

I've never said this before, and I'll never say this again, but I wish they had put this ad into concept testing.

Anonymous said:

4.32 you are truly a fuckwit.

Try to understand this: As I said, I'm entitled to an opinion as much as you are. You cannot seem to get your bone-filled head around this point. We all should be able to put forward an opinion without some idiot - yourself - using it as an opportunity to personally attack the person who put across that opinion.

You are apparently too stupid to see that you're simply doing what you're accusing others of doing. You are dragging the level of this blog down. Shut up. Go away. You, are an imbecile. You really are.

Now, say something intelligent.

Anonymous said:

Client: "we want to stand out in a sea of sameness"
Agency: heeeeeeeeeeer's the strapline "determined to be different". ("they'll go for that")

as bank credit ratings fall faster than bank credibility (and our mortgages spiral to pay for bad business decisions by (insert name here) bank)................I guess "determined to be different" might resonate - if anyone actually stays the 30 or 60 second distance..............but I don't think so. Here's the big news - we don't care which bank, just one that delivers reasonable products & service and recognizes that customers are as, if not more, important than shareholders. Now there's a proposition to consider.

Anonymous said:

Thank God for that! I was so worried that more clients would go offshore for creative. Yet, this is great new evidence that directors can cross borders, but agencies can not. A very fine gift to the Australian industy on Australia day!

Anonymous said:

7:28, if you were smart you'd have your head down and be writing scripts now. When is the last time an ad of yours got produced?... let alone people talking.

As for saying something intelligent... There is danger in theoretical speculation of battle, in prejudice, in false reasoning, in pride, in braggadocio. There is one safe resource, the return to nature…

Anonymous said:

i can't believe this - a friend of mine pointed me to this blog and frankly i'm blown away by the negativity towards this ad. It seems that the agency delivered on the brief with something different for the bank. its certainly different and it will be interesting to see how it develops into a campaign (?)

but gee's. you lot seem pretty bitter and twisted about it.....

Anonymous said:

I'm sure they came up with all sorts of strategies for this campaign. I'm just a little confused as to who they're actually communicating to. Australian ad guys who got all upset about the account going over sea's? Or the public?

Either way, not sure if I like it or not.

Anonymous said:

Apparently, the second ad is a hilarious story about the client firing the agency for conning them into buying this crock.

The third ad involves the account moving back to an Australian agency, and finishes with the Commonwealth Bank marketing department kicking each other hard in the arse and repeatedly saying 'what the fuck were we thinking, what the fuck were we thinking...'

Anonymous said:

Bank of queensland line. "bank different"
A local agency would know that. Zing!

Anonymous said:

Whaaaaaaaahahahahaahhaha......Whoaaaaaahahahhaahahahahha...........Whoaaaahaahahahahhahahahaha......seriously? For real? Aw, come on, what the f'#k? Phwoaaaaahaaahahahhahhahaha. I give up. Advertising sucks now. Phuffphwoaaaaaaaahahahahahahhaha........ha...ha.....ha...ha......ha..ha.....ha....puh

Anonymous said:

I know who you are 3:45, 3:46. I love you! Seriously, you should of made those ads yourself. Your little vent was much better than the crap it was aimed at. Honestly, WTF is an understatement.

This is simply self indulgent advertising W-A-N-K at it's finest. Do these dudes seriously think Jimmy Chong from Enfield is going to give two roots for this rubbish. Please.

Anyway happy OZ day. I love you all, well not all of you.

Anonymous said:

Someone told me my name mentioned on website.
I come, I read, I view new ad.
I think ad bruddy funny.

How come you think I'm not as smart as you?

Jimmy Chong

Anonymous said:

Whether you like it or not, we're all talking about it. And I'm willing to bet they're not talking about us.

Anonymous said:

This was an old idea when Jack in the Box did it with meaty cheesy boys, and an old idea when Freeman did it for Budget, and an old idea when Goodby themselves did it for the Wall Street Journal's "rejected ideas for new covers." Booo Goodby. And shame on you for doing this kind of work when so many people look up to you.

Anonymous said:

ever heard of the term 'campaign' shit heads? I think this is just the beginning. Lets not cry so much over every ad, especially because I bet the rest will be kind of funny- whether we admit it or not. AMERICANS are stupid- the material is all there.

Anonymous said:

I think this is the greatest piss take of the advertising industry I've seen for quite a while. Shame it's supposed to be an ad for the commonwealth bank.

Anonymous said:

Whoa mama! What a lot of sour grape, sad sacks you are. Lift your game or loose more accounts overseas is how its gonna be suckers

Andy said:

This time next year another marketing team and a new agency and even more $
of shareholders money pissed up against the wall.(will bring it up at the next shareholders meeting)
Which Bank?
The Commmonwealth Bank ( of course)

Anonymous said:

I think the Jimmy Chong reference was just to state that this ad might be a little out of touch with the wider community. It's an ad for ad people, basically. It could of been, Bob Brown, Jeff Lim, Angela Yusef, who care. Peace.

Anonymous said:

absolutely awesome... this will get the consumers attention... perfect single minded idea...

Anonymous said:

This idea has been done to death. And done much better.

The Budget rent-a-car campaign from Cliff Freeman.
Jack in the Box, Meaty Cheesy Boys spot, "You are so fired."
The movie Boomerang.
And about a million other movies, comic strips, TV shows, and ad campaigns through the years. Moving on...

Anonymous said:

geez - there's some real stw venom in this - hissssss

Anonymous said:

How come you think this ad is out of touch with the wider community 1.41? Last time I looked the most popular TV shows in Australia were stuff like Grey's Anatomy and Law and Order. The Aussie public seems to do pretty well enjoying these shows without having to work in a hospital or a law firm. Are these shows written by Aussies who know how to talk to the wider Aussie community? And, let's face it, if understanding Aussies was so important, how come so much bank advertising here has been so bad? Let's just see what happens next. Good for Goodby. Shame on us for whinging.

Anonymous said:

Determined to be different?

Ironically, I see tremendous similarities between this campaign and the recent nab work.

A nebulous tagline that lacks believability.

An over-wrought, big budget TVC that nevertheless fails to really grab you.

Not an ounce of substantiation.

Very poor.

Anonymous said:

I don't have a point of view.

I just want to see the comment count get past 100.

Anonymous said:

I know, let's put ourselves in our ad talking about our ad.

How surprising that the guy who claimed major headlines sending the work offshore in the first place bought that particular creative solution!

Anonymous said:

I agree with 10.48pm. Self-indulgent wank. From agency and client. Sure, it's a big brand idea, but what a fucking load of old shit.

I went to the microsite and they're not doing anything different. And let's cast our minds back what, two weeks? Comm Bank followed ANZ & NAB by increasing their interest rates. Bloody lemmings. If they truly want to be different, abolish fees or change the logo or something.

Anyway, I sincerely hope they prove me wrong with something utterly genius to follow this up.

Anonymous said:

chop the crappy american ending off and then it's something different from a bank.

Anonymous said:

An old CD of mine once told me that anyone can get attention by dropping their pants in a crowd.

Were he alive today, he'd have used this ad as an example of what he meant.

Yes, we - in the ad industry are talking about it. And we mainly think it's embarrassing crap.

Out there in the real world, they don't talk much about advertising. Sure, they might like the odd one or two, but most they just ignore - and some they notice because they hate them so much. This is a definite number three.

First, there seems to be an assumption that people know a US agency had taken on the Commbank account. They don't. And really, if they did, it would only be a negative. So why make such a big thing of it?

Second, if I was with Commbank - which I am - I'd be thinking, what, these guys let people spend millions on making a TVC without seeing a script? That's pretty dumb, just for starters.

But most importantly, what's in it for me - the existing or potential customer? Determined to be different? Why? You should be determined to give me good service, determined to save me money, determined to focus on me - not yourselves.

Really, if it wasn't so much hassle, I'd almost swap banks on the basis of this ad. Do I really want to be with a bank run by utter fuckwits?

And I won't be the only customer thinking this way.

Anonymous said:

Looks like that bank boys have caught the beer boys' disease.

Spend a whole lot of money on a whole lot of wank, without any attempt at relating to existing brand values or building new ones, and then stand back saying, well, it must be good because people are talking about it.

The CUB marketing team haven't moved to the Commonwealth Bank, have they?

Anonymous said:

No, 8.14....

"...but gee's. you lot seem pretty bitter and twisted about it....."

Not bitter and twisted; just amazed. We know banks are happy to rip us off, but we thought it was because their shareholders wanted bigger dividends.

It never occurred to us that what they really wanted to do was piss lots of money up against the wall.

PS; I think you mean 'Jeez' - short for Jesus, as opposed to "Gee's" which would be, what, something possessed by Gee (whatever or whoever he is).

Bess said:

What is there not to like, I think it is very original, dont really care if it is same as ASB I dont watch NZ TV so I would have no idea. Cant wait to see more. Well done.

Anonymous said:

Determined to be different?

But didn't CommBank just put up their interest rates like everyone else?

Thought so.

Anonymous said:

Hoges and George Miller to sue. Commercial to be taken off air by Wednesday.
Now that'd be different.

Anonymous said:

We all have this sort of idea as juniors.

Thankfully, most also have Creative Directors who not so gently remind us that the rest of the world has never been inside an ad agency, on a commercial shoot or in a recording studio.

Which saves us from producing meaningless, self-referential embarrassments like this.

Anonymous said:


the best call on this blog is #11.16's - clients and the ad industry need to be reminded that the general public don't like ads - and its seen as an annoying part of their lives. so, bearing that in mind, on the upside, this new campaign has the semblences of being entertaining. the reality? not one consumer will relate to or give a damn about the in joke references

btw - the word during the shoot was that the director kept asking the crew if the jokes were funny - good old oz crew: they said no

the issue is - if it wasn't for the lame ad game jokes - I would be vaguely impressed by someone trying to at least stand out from most of the crap on air. repeat after me: most consumers hate ads - they are an intrusive part of their lives and are vaguely tolerated, mostly.

Anonymous said:

Five years from now if someone said to me "Which bank?" one thing would instantly pop into my head.

I can't believed they've abandoned it.

Anonymous said:

Been watching the cricket - this ad is being repeated ad nauseum and now I really fucking hate it. And since people hate ads, I reckon they're going to hate it even more. And I hate to say it, but I'd rather watch the KFC campaign. And now I hate myself.

Anonymous said:

Hey lynchy-is is ok to say this is so bad i feel sorry for Singo's?

Anonymous said:

It really is the Emperor without any clothes.[someone had to say it]

Anonymous said:

The ad's a crock of shit.

There's not a client in Australia with the brains to give immediate and decisive feedback like these guys did.

Makes the comm bank marketing people look sharp, incisive and on the ball. Which, given their track record over the last decade, is complete and utter bollocks.

No wonder they approved it.

Peter said:

I would love to see you all in a research group. We all bitch and moan when "they don't get it" or "they think they understand marketing but they don't know shit" attitudes.

So far in this blog I've heard:


I understand but they won't

I think it's funny but they won't

I hate the direction

I love the direction

I like the line

I hate the line bring back the one from 10 years ago

Wow we moan about research, but we are worse than the groups we pay, at least they get $50 and a packet of chips. Me, I'll be the quite guy in the corner that has nothing to really prove and would usually get pushed around by some fat prick with a come-over and say "I reckon it's pretty good, I get it, it's pretty funny and I wanna see the next one."

I'm not saying it's Cannes gold, but please tell me the last time anyone here won a Cannes Gold for TV. (Ant and Rub hands down).

BTW good to see the bitch is back, I missed all the mind bending "truth" people share on this blog. The best comedy the ad industry in Australia over the last couple of years. (Can you win a cyber lion for comedy on a blog lynchy? check the entry details, might be worth a crack.)


Anonymous said:

I thought the lead guy looked kinda like Cuz. Jeez he's hot.

Anonymous said:

....It is Ira Goldstein/ASB Bank The Second

The campaign better have a good retail strategy, b/c if you walk into a commbank branch now, there's nothing bloody different about it.

Anonymous said:

Gosh, 5.46, you're suggesting that people have different opinions.

Pretty damn terrible, that.

We should all hang our heads in shame.

But one thing I should explain to you. The public very rarely say, "I wanna see the next one." They take an ad as an ad as an ad. And if it's dumb - and interupts their cricket over and over with its dumbness - they just get grumpy.

I think there are a lot of grumpy consumers out there.

james said:

what a crap ad.

Anonymous said:

The biggest winners of this fiasco are BMF. They'll end up with the entire account within 12 months.

Anonymous said:

Do they really think the mortgage belt will give a shit how the Com Bank make their ad campaigns?

Does the mortgage belt really think that any bank is different?
(When they all make billion dollar profits and put their rates up without official rate rises).

Whether the ad is funny or not, or the same as some other campaign done10 years ago, doesn't matter. What matters is it's completely irrelevant to the people that it is aimed at.

The whole process should have started with the consumer, not the safety demonstration on the business class flight to San Fran.....

Anonymous said:

Commbanks marketing guru mark buckman is quoted as saying he wanted a world class campaign that would change peoples perception of the bank.
We're all agreed he didn't get the world class campaign but the campaign does deliver on changing peoples perception of the bank - we now think their marketing dept are more stupid than we first thought. Congratulations

Simon said:

This ad rocks.

Anonymous said: we really need that crap?

If you've got nothing to say, do us all a favour and say exactly that.

Anonymous said:

any of you old hacks would jump at the chance to go and work at goodby.
keep talking the good game fellas - you're embrassing yourselves.

Anonymous said:

I was wrapped to hear that the comm bank had gone to Goodbys. I love that agency. I love their thinking most of the time. They're one of the best agencies in the world. This unfortuanately wasn't one of their best. It really did nothing to show an even basic understanding of Australians. I'm sure accross the board Does the average Australian really know who Michael Bay is? I'd hate to say it but it really is advertising talking to itself. All I got out of this ad was the bank being determined to be ignorant. The last thing I want from my bank is to know they're spending millions of dollars on big production ads overseas when I'm copping fee after fee after fee.
Which Bank? If you want to be different try getting rid of all your fees. I don't feel comfortable with your fees anymore thanks very much.

Goodbys... You've got a lot of work to do in my eyes. I'm sure being the quality agency that you are you'll fix it and get it back on track in no time.

Anonymous said:

in 12 months time will big question be 'Mark Buckman. where the bloody hell are you?'

Dawesmeister said:

Which bank blows millions on amateur, self indulgent short films masquerading as ads ?
The trouble with self-indulgent crap like this is that adland starts talking about it, and the agency and client think "wow its getting BUZZ out there !!". WRONG !! It won't get any buzz - or any attention - out there in consumer land. Consumers are not interested in ads especially try-hard drivel like this !!

Anonymous said:

We are different for the sake of being different, because we're.. different, and different is what counts!... Did we mention we are 'different'?

Umm different HOW, and WHY and.. from WHO?

A great example of lazy advertising begging for a message, focus and an idea.

umm... said:

...and the take-out to the audience message is?

....and this bank is offering me what?

Talk about self-indulgent navel-gazing.

Anonymous said:

Well I spent the weekend with a few people whose life doesn't revolve around adland. And guess what. They thought the ad was a pile of shit, and they didn't for a moment believe a word about the Comm being different to any other bank.

And funnily enough 2 out of 3 asked why the ad didn't finish with 'which bank' - they still thought it was the bank's line after all these years.

Anonymous said:

4.46, we are not interested in what your friends or the public in general thinks of ads. If we were we'd create ads that are aimed at them. When Cannes is judged by the public, that's when I'll listen to 'em. Until then, who cares what they think. Get real 4.46 or you won't get far in this biz. The public? Pfffffff.

Anonymous said:

this is so fucking funny - the most animated the Australian advertising community has been in 50 years. well done fellas you've actually got them off their fat asses and saying something. now how about writing some fucking ads for me or i'll take my business offshore!

Anonymous said:

I think, it's all good for us industry folk to do entertaining stuff, but this ad, as it stands in today's world of macroeconomic chaos, is like a drunk cousin cracking jokes at a funeral. But that's just my opinion.

It's OK though, where's my dividends cheque CombanK?

Anonymous said:

Your dividend cheque, 9.55?

That's it trickling down the wall.

Time to sell up and buy shares in a bank that does great ads.

That's be...ummmm.

Oh fuck, just buy BHP.

Ross Strudwick said:

Bravo Buckers.

Shame you never had balls like this when you were at McCann's.



Anonymous said:

Ah, McCann's. I remember it when it was a big, successful, hugely profitable agency, before he became CEO and chairman. Eventually Asia Pacific regional director Max Gosling had to replace him.

Anonymous said:

This is beyond funny. The marketing director says he wants world class, non-bank advertising. The agency introduces the campaign by telling the world digital is at the centre of everything they do. So what do we get? An unoriginal, irrelevant, self-indulgent ad with a tag line that defies belief. And the digital agency gives us a campaign with no digital integration. Its so funny Jerry Seinfeld and Ricky Gervais could probably write a show about it.

Anonymous said:

If Commonwealth Bank really wanted to change the public's perception of them, why didn't they use the money they squandered on that ad to distribute amongst their customers with a note apologising for the rising mortgage rate?

Now that would have been news.

Anonymous said:

5.09. If you want to go someone personally, have the courage to sign your comment.

Anonymous said:

Seems life the Aust agencies and a bunch of sore loosers of the $60M that Comm Bank had to redirect in a well conceived attempt to break from the bland, seriously boring generic ATL bank ads that have been chundered out to poor consumers of late. They get paid way too much too produce "cardboard". Hats off to CBA! No wonder direct marketing is in serious growth mode and TV and ATL is continuously failing to address decining ROI. Very much looking for the follow up ads!

Anonymous said:

I reckon they should have done an ad, where they pan out to show the ad agency, and then they pan out again to show australian creatives watching the ad on Youtube and typing furiously on campaign brief...

The tagline would be :

Determined to be the most bitter F*&$ers in the advertising industry..

You lot need to look back through some of the not-so-great work you've probably let out the door, and have a good hard look at yourselves. I don't particularly love the CBA ad, but I certainly hope & think (knowing goodbys track record) that it will get a whole lot better

we'll know if that happens. All of a sudden there will be a massive drop in the comments left on this blog

Anonymous said:

Does the CBA Marketing Dept. really think this ad is funny? It's neither funny or engaging.

The take out message is just advertising fluff - 'Determined to be Different' - check out their website I don't see anything different - still banging on about sponsoring cricket (delivers CBA no real return I imagine other than a few free tickets), still supporting the community...blah blah blah...

I'm sorry to say but it makes a laughing stock of the Marketing Dept.

Cut your losses and start from scratch.

Anonymous said:

5.09am - you~ve got to fucking kidding. I was there pre, during and post the buckman years and am quite proud of the two years where they led the new business leagues in 2000 and 2001 - there were certainly some good times. what have they done since - let me think - oh, they~ve won michels patisserie. and what the fuck has happened to the parent company~s share price - now nearly penny stock at barely over 7 bucks a share

Anonymous said:

What do McCanns have to do with Commbank?

Oh, and to the illiterate talking about jealous Aussie agencies, do you need to be reminded that Which Bank was - and is - clearly the best recalled bank campaign in Australian history. Didn't need a US agency to do that. And it worked its balls off.

Also, let's be frank, whatever we thnk of the advertising, Aussie banks aren't doing so badly in the profit stakes - and that, surprise-suprise, is what we're supposed to be contributing to.

Anonymous said:

NAB Comm Bank CUB

Marketing directors determined to be different have replaced agency creatives as the real industry wankers

Anonymous said:

It's obvious the new CBA marketing boss wanted another campaign like ASB. Not Silverstein but a bunch of ad men from USA to make fun of. It might be funny for the public, especially if they can string it out a bit. I will have to wait and see. First cab off the rank was a little lame, hoping it gets funny somewhere. I agree the Koala was the best bit, a bit like the Bundy ad. Lose the client shit and it might have been OK.

Anonymous said:

I still want to know where Bindi is?

Anonymous said:

Employ an agency with no true cultural insights and you get cultural stereotypes, the agency kind of knows they shouldn't be so cheap, so they mask the use of stereotypes by turning the joke back on themselves, which then becomes a totally in 'joke' to the industry and an utterly unfunny one to the general public.

Determined to be different? I've said it before: It's easy to be different and irrelevant and it's easy to be relevant yet mundane. The trick is being different and relevant. And that obviously requires more determination.

Anonymous said:

Did we want this campaign to be good or shite? I think I wanted it to either be brilliant so that it would kick-start a new wave of creative bravery, or shite to prove that it wasn’t really the fault of us Oz agencies. I somehow doubt that many of us will be surfing the tsunami anytime soon even if they do find Bindi!

And ‘Determined to be different’ – give me a break! Nothing like raising your own bar to hopelessly fail to get over. The marketing people seem to think that their customer service will do this – like every other bloody bank ad tries to tell me. Are CBA suddenly not going to offer the same products and services that all the others do? Are they going to stop charging like wounded bulls for everything and really put customers ahead of shareholders like not passing on the costs of the sub-prime shake out? Are they ditching their branch and ATM network? Now, that would be determined!

All this proves is that it is the CBA marketing team’s fault – Goodby are way better than this.

Anonymous said:


When did this English street word become Australian?

We complain about an American agency doing (admittedly crap) work on a unique Australian brand, yet we can't even talk Australian when we discuss it.

No wonder our ads are so average. We've forgotten who we are.

Anonymous said:

2.07, it's 5.09 here. Lynchie - apparently I've been edited - all goslings turn into geese mate.....

Anonymous said:

I got a chuckle from the ad, but if Determined to be Different" is the I can see everyone closing their accounts right now and rushing over to CBA. I don't believe that one retail or business consumer is going to do a damned thing because of this campaign except go, "Hmmm."

Anonymous said:

I notice a story on today where ANZ and NAB have announced the introduction of banking services via mobile phones. An innovative and convenient service one would expect a bank that cliams it is daring to be different would obvioulsy be at the forefront of developing...but no. The story includes this quote from CBA:

'Commonwealth Bank spokesman Bryan Fitzgerald said mobile banking was something "we have been looking at and will continue to look at" but there were no plans to launch the functionality at this stage.

When asked why the bank had avoided mobile banking while its competitors forged ahead with the technology, Fitzgerald said it was still assessing whether there was a "proven need for it".'

Yes, that's right Mr Fitzgerald, no-one is using their mobiles for anything more than just making calls are they?

Anonymous said:

I read with interest todays SMH article on The Comm Bank ad.

Did anyone notice the irony of Mr.Buckman comments and I quote:

'We didn't make this ad for the Australian ad industry'.

Fair enough. But in the previous sentence he's also quoted as saying:

'He'd received "outstanding" reaction from "a number of high profile people in the ad industry!"

If you didn't make the ad for the industry Mr.Buckman why are you so keen to tell us how high profile ad industry people have been calling you with their praises?

Anonymous said:

Will someone please send 1:38 pm's comment to Ralph Norris right now as proof of why this 'Different' strategy/campaign is an embarrassment and deserving of an immediate death.

Anonymous said:

Which Bank? The Commonwealth Bank.

Anonymous said:

Just spoke to my dad (57 yr old ex banker).

Me: Hey Dad, have you seen that new Comm bank ad?

Dad: Yeah, I didn't think it was very good. I thought it was an ad for an ad agency.

Anonymous said:

Has anyone forgotten the consumer in all this? Joe Average in Penrith with a thumping big mortgage looks at this kind of ad and just doesn't care. It's an ad for ad people by american ad people and meanwhile Joe has headed off to another bank.

Anonymous said:

Biggest bunch of self-referential, in-joke, rip-off bullshit I've ever seen. THIS is the big idea???

Anonymous said:

Hey, be fair.

If Commbank isn't doing what other banks are doing, like bringing in new, better ways to bank, that's being different isn't it?

After all, they said different - not better.

(Bit like what I think of the ad - different, not better.)

Anonymous said:

Brilliant!! If you can't come up with an idea except for the most clichéd idea-vacant stereotype, all you need to do is PARODY the fact that you're as useless as tits on a bull.

Everyone laughs and thinks you're clever, and by the time a couple of hours have passed and they go 'Hey" (the penny drops), you've already returned your DVD's to the Australian/Foreign section at Blockbuster and you're lying in your hallway blind drunk on imported vodka sodas listening to cool-but-undiscovered ironic-rock-punk-electro-house while fondling a picture of yourself.

Anonymous said:

self indulgent, post-modern advertising wank. all it does is highlight how cynical the ad game is. how is having michael bay, discussion of tag lines etc going to get the attention of your average 50 yo guy with a homeloan?

Anonymous said:

As an FS marketer (client side) I was gob-smacked by the office scene. Why would the marketing team allow itself to be depicted like that? It doesn't look merely polite: it looks clueless.

To me, the ad is a fascinating insight into how some marketers, in becoming dazzled by their ad agencies, abdicate their responsibility to the marketing strategy.

When a client can't articulate its point of difference (except to say it's determined to be so) and then expects the agency to solve the problem, the result - a bizarre, confusing, fragmented, tired meddly of ideas and concepts - will likely simply mirror the client's confusion and uncertainty.

Coming up with a brand ad that appeals to multiple audiences is a big challenge regardless of agency reputation, local knowledge etc. Clear and meaningful input from the client is critical.

Goodby's has probably done an okay - albeit lazy - job given the client doesn't know what its difference really is but did want something cut through and entertaining.

I hate to say it, but the problem lies with the marketing strategy, which, makes the office scene look all the more fascinating.

Mary S

Nosferatu said:

I'm still not convinced the ad is real. Director Mick Bay says he used 7 helicopters[?]

Um, like where? To buy McDonald's for the crew perhaps.

Anyway, all this discussion has been great reading, and a firm reminder that the best thing about our great industry is the coming home bit at the end of the day.

I think we've been had.

Anonymous said:

The 7 helicopters bit is supposed to be a joke. Regardless the ad is still lame.

Anonymous said:

Brilliant post, 1:38.

Anonymous said:

9.05 are you for real? and 11.07 since when do you pan out??????

Anonymous said:

Mary S is kind of right. The Comm bank marketing department were obviously on holiday when the brief was written because there's nothing in this ad that tells me what Comm bank are or want to be.

'Determined to be different' is as shallow as it gets.

The bank and its agency can defend this facile rubbish as much as they like but nothing can save this embarrassment.

The boffins at the bank actually believe people want their bank to be different when all they want is for their bank to do all the 'banky' things right - like call before they bounce a cheque that's make your account $10 overdrawn, make every day banking easier or answer phone calls - just imagine if someone actually answered a phone call.. That's being a bank - if Comm Bank thinks that's being different then god help us.

This campaign is an insult to Comm Bank customers .

If the bank and its agency actually think people will believe this rubbish then they should change their name to Conn bank.

Anonymous said:

Total total, pure and utter self indulgent rubbish.
Commbank managers should be fired for approving such shit, fucking loosers.

Anonymous said:

As a non advertising person - let me say this. The first time I saw it during the cricket, I thought WTF. But I remembered it. I watched it more closely next time. I laughed, recognising the obvious sterotype view Americans have of us.

However, I came to the conclusion, until reading this brief, that CBA had spent a lot of money making an ad (the first 30 seconds) but they hated it, so they rejiged it by adding the last 30 seconds. I would have never assumed that this kind of advertisment would be produced by Australians, its just not our style and I would be very offended if it was.

what did offend me, many Australians are in real trouble because of the rising cost of loans. That the CBA could afford this kind of money on the first of many ads makes me think they make way to much money off their customers and that they must be an expensive place to bank. Might go elsewhere

Anonymous said:

This CBA "ad" is load of unadulterated crap. I have seen it a few times on SBS, and the more I see it the more disgusting it becomes. The people that developed are all morons. This is no artistic it is autistic. This has set back the industry in Australia 100 years. CBA Board should fire the lot of them for this.

Anonymous said:

Hey, they're determined to be different. They just raised the home loan rate by 30 base points - 5 above the RBA.

It smacks of a the siloed approach typical in a large corporation; the marketing team on the left hand are doing one thing, whilst the rest of them on the right hand work to their own different agendas.

Until there is a cohesive, synergestic approach to implementing bank strategy (ie get buy-in from everyone) then a marketing strategy will fail and be open to ridicule by the consumer.

Anonymous said:

Hey guys, calm down - it's not an ad it's an entertainment device! "This is an entertainment device through which we are delivering Commonwealth Bank messages," Mr Buckman said. So that must make it OK then? What the?

Anonymous said:

Very, very funny ad. Though it took me a while to actually watch it properly (at first, I thought it was another jingoistic ad, by the sounds of it, and didn't bother to pay attention). Now, when I see it on, I stop and watch it. "... we used seven helicopters" has become a bit of an injoke with friends of late.
Also love the (clueless) guy saying: "You liiiiiiiiiiiiike?"

Anonymous said:

I just left a comment saying how much I enjoy this ad. I should also have added (perhaps a point of interest), that I would have no intention of doing business with the bank, just because I like that ad. If they thought it was going to give their image a make-over, they were wrong ... imho.

Anonymous said:

this whole CBA story - the background to the campaign, the ad (which is so outrageous and therefore soooo fu**n funny), the hype around it all, the get-over-youself comments on this blog - show how the ad idustry - which I'm not in - is so completely 90s and has so lost it.

Anonymous said:

Did they really spend "that much" money on it, or was that just a joke?

Anonymous said:

I also don't remember seeing "seven helicopters."

Anonymous said:

Gosh, all you advertising folks are so very smart and witty. Lucky I've got a remote.

Anonymous said:

I think the campaign is a welcome relief from the Doomsday School of Government Sponsored Messages about speeding, drinking, railroad crossing safety, work choices, carbon emissions, leaving children near bathtubs, domestic violence, skin cancer, smoking and Kevin '07.

If you only had Australia's advertising to go on, you'd think this was the most depressing place around. Between that and the talking rams, seals, and the whole crew of Optus animals, advertisers treat Australians no better than 12 year old children.

Really, with that as the creative competition, what's so wrong about a koala bear dressed up as Mad Max? Or cricket being invented before elbows? (That's hysterical!) At least it makes you laugh a little!

Marketing strategy? Oh right - well no, it's not particulalry relevant to a bank, but so what? It's got people talking about the brand - rather than contemplating suicide, which is clearly the desired result of the government's advertising efforts.

no name said:

3:46 just wrote the prequel to the ad. nice.

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