This week National Australia Bank (NAB) launched a campaign that looked particularly unbanky. Choosing Valentine’s Day as their launch date @NAB tweeted this rather cryptic teaser (on 11th February):
They followed this with a tweet on Valentine’s Day linking to a video of the bank writing their break up letter
The bank is trying to separate itself forcefully in both proposition and use of these social platforms to create complete differentiation. The campaign is also supported by a Facebook page and they are curating all the content relating to the bank on their dedicated site. On both their Twitter stream and their Facebook page they have transformed the environment to field customer enquiries and certainly it would appear that they are being managed by Bank employees rather than an agency to fulfil that remit.
This launch has resulted in 78% of all online conversations around banking in Australia containing reference to NAB which is undeniably huge. Interestingly the launch came in the same week that Ovum released research suggesting retail banks are still resisting social media and with some banks still viewing online activity as highly dangerous NAB's move is certainly bold. There is little peer comparison possible in the UK where the closest we have currently is probably First Direct, which interestingly has recently stopped running live sentiment on their First Direct Live site, but is now using both Twitter and Facebook more effectively.
I take my hat off to @NAB for this fresh approach. I'll be watching the campaign follow-up with interest . When the budget's there to support a strong campaign theme using social platforms the momentum can be fantastic. The proof comes in what those social platforms are used for beyond that initial burst.