Emily Tan
Jul 26, 2011

Westpac relaunches Bank of Melbourne with Ogilvy campaign

MELBOURNE – Westpac-owned Bank of Melbourne has teamed up with Ogilvy Group Melbourne for its to rebrand and relaunch.

wide player in 16:9 format. Used on article page for Campaign.

BoM was acquired by Westpac in 1997 for US$1.6 billion, and subsequently shut down in 2004.

Ogilvy and Westpac however have crafted an entirely new brand for the BoM, complete with a new logo, uniforms and branch design.

“We’ve had a large cross-disciplinary team of about 25 people from Ogilvy Group and STW Designworks working on the brand for about a year," said Ogilvy managing partner Michael McEwan. "It’s a brand that’s by Victorians, for Victorians and if you’re a Melbournian you’ll note how obviously it reflects the state.”

According to Designworks, the agency which crafted BoM’s new logo, the prismatic shield is designed to reflect the iconic architecture of Melbourne, including the Arts Centre and Federation Square.

The decision to launch BoM as an entirely new brand was one made by Westpac and not a subject McEwan could comment on. The Age reported that Westpac wanted to provide a regional alternative to Victorians other than the big four national banks in Australia: National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.

A consumer sentiment study indicated that Victorians still retained strong and positive feelings towards the old Bank of Melbourne brand, and the relaunch is a bid to gain market share. Currently, Westpac’s market share in Victoria stands at only 15 per cent, lower than just after it had acquired Bank of Melbourne.

The study also found that Victorians really wanted a "local" bank with 50 per cent citing it as their preference. It found that the potential for growth in regional banking was present with regional banks only retaining 13 per cent of the market compared with other states where regional banks have 22 per cent of the market.

“Local elements are carried through to customer service with even trading hours catering to local requirements. Some branches, for example, will maintain Saturday morning trading hours,” said McEwan.

Launched on 24 July, Bank of Melbourne has 41 branches with Westpac converting 38 St George bank branches (another subsidiary of Westpac) and launching three new branches. The bank plans to have 100 branches throughout Victoria in the next five years.

The campaign is themed ‘Mutual prosperity’ and is spearheaded by a series of TVCs executed by Brillant Films. There is also print and outdoor placements with creative work handled by Badjar Ogilvy. OgilvyOne handled digital and social media campaign elements while OgilvyAction brand experience.

OMD is the campaign’s media agency.

“We had a campaign office managing this and worked with the client hand in hand throughout,” said McEwan. “It’s been a rewarding experience.”

The campaign’s main objective is to build a sense of affinity with the bank’s customers. “It’s about the customer’s prosperity being the bank’s prosperity. Throughout there’s an element of humility with a strong commitment to the people of Victoria. We feel Melbournians in particular will see the work in the campaign – the locations, people and lighting – as their own,” he added.

The Bank of Melbourne’s head of brand and marketing, John O’Shea, said that the bank will only ever exist in Victoria and was purely for the region. “We are working to build an affinity with our customers that comes from a shared pride in Melbourne and Victoria. Helping our customers prosper is good business.”

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