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Neil Finn and youthful boundary pushers help Kiwibank celebrate double figures

Neil Finn and youthful boundary pushers help Kiwibank celebrate double figures

When Kiwibank was launched in 2002, there were plenty of doubters. But, according to its new website, 804,221 customers have signed up to the bank in its first 10 years and to celebrate the milestone it’s launched a new campaign featuring a few other adventurous and industrious Kiwi 10-year-olds. 

Ironically, given it features a bunch of kids flouting rules (wait for the moaners to see the kid jumping off the rock), Ogilvy’s campaign is a bit more grown-up and serious than some of the bank’s quirkier previous efforts, and there are no llamas, green smart cars or explicit ’watch out for the big bad Aussie banks’ warnings to be seen.

Of course, there are still plenty of challenger brand metaphors and patriotic cues, but there’s an increased focus on social justice and standing up for what’s right, something Jim Anderton, the driving force behind the bank’s establishment, has been big on from the outset.

Kiwibank has also been big on trying to snatch customers from the big Aussie owned banks and has actively communicated to consumers how easy it is to switch (the most obvious example of that was the recent Green Ops campaign). And it seems to have worked. According to Wikipedia: “Kiwibank’s success is reflected primarily in its signup rate for new customers of over 300 new organisations and individuals per day (about 2100 per week). Within the New Zealand financial institution context this is a significant figure: for the ‘Big Five’ retail banks (ANZ/National Bank, ASB, Westpac, BNZ), a typical year will result in a 0.2% increase or decrease in market share (deposit + lending values rather than number of customers).”

In a similar approach to the recent Mercury Energy campaign, the ad also features a new version of Neil Finn’s track Can You Hear Us? which was recorded by Neil Finn and Jeremy Redmore from Midnight Youth. Apparently, it's the first time Finn has ever agreed to lend one of his tracks to a commercial entity.

Users can download it for free and each time they do Kiwibank will make a donation to the New Zealand Music Foundation (for the first 20,000 downloads).

In another charitable gesture, it also decided to reward New Zealand commuters in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch – and anyone venturing into a Kiwibank branch – with some Random Acts of Kindness.

This story originally appeared on StopPress.