It's not rocket science. Just advertising... Kaching!

Winter 2012

Here's a forgotten gem from the past. The ad helped the Westpac Bank to launch its ATM network here in Australia. (See Video Link)

It was the dawn of the era of the Plastic Fantastic. Savings Books and Bank Tellers and Rubber Stamps were about to be disrupted by Plastic Cards, Magnetic Strips and ATMS.

Fast forward 25+ years and ATM are on the verge of being, if not replaced, then at least supplemented by mobile payments conducted over Mobile Phone.

It has also been over 25 years since the Commonwealth Bank responded to Westpac's "The Bank" TV ad campaign with the "Which Bank?" ad campaign. "Which Bank?" was perhaps the Commonwealth last great TVC campaign. Since then the Commonwealth has struggled repeatedly in its efforts to change hearts and minds with it's TV advertising.

Today things are no different.

This latest effort promotes the Commonwealth Bank's new mobile payments iPhone app to a new generation. (See Video Link)

Take a look at it again and then ask yourself one question. What does the narrative tell you about the bank's mobile payments solution?

Ask yourself who wins the girl?

The answer of course is the guy with the cash always wins. I say that because the guy who gave the cash away was winning until the moment he gave the cash away. After that it was the wing man who was doing all the running. Why? Not because he had a mobile phone in his hand but because he could splash the cash around on some drinks.

This narrative suggests that when it comes to winning the girl the Bank's mobile payment app is both impractical and ineffective. Why? Well if the app was a viable (i.e. Universal) payments platform why did the "wing man" have to borrow cash (i.e. paper money) to buy the drinks. Answer: Because the Mobile payments platform is impractical for buying drinks over the counter.

The takeaway message being, if you are chasing the girl (i.e. the 20 something target market), "Nice app (Think: Toy) but when it comes to winning the girl cash (or card) is still king".

Assuming the message was at least cleared, if not constructed or influenced, by the Bank's executive hierarchy the message may yet prove to be a delightful "Freudian" slip on the Bank's thinking about the future of payments.

Copyright 2012 Digital Partners Pty Limited. All Rights Reserved.