DDB’s Westpac spot reminds Aussies how epic they are

Another day, another epic commercial from a financial services company that avoids talking about what it actually does.

This one for Australian bank Westpac celebrates moments in history when Aussies got together to help each other out.

It recreates the hazardous construction of Sydney Harbor bridge and a dramatic helicopter rescue during the floods of 2011, all set to the rousing soundtrack of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” performed by an Aussie band that sounds like U2.

Director Mark Molloy says it all: “I think work like this resonates when you talk less about he brand and more about the nation… It’s something bigger than the brand.”

Westpac Group head of brand, advertising & media, Jenny Melhuish, explains the link between the ad and the brand: “Westpac has played a role in the lives of Australians for more than 200 years; helping people buy their homes, save for a family, start a business, or in times of emergency or natural disasters.”

The ad is by DDB Sydney, which seems to have been taking lessons from acclaimed Omnicom sibling adam&eveDDB, whose latest Lloyds work also goes for the emotional jugular.

MAA creative scale: 4

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall
Emma Hall is the former London Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.

3 comments

  1. But it’s not like Americans, Brits, French or Africans are all horrible people who don’t help each other. These kind of wistful ‘we’re amazing’ self congratulatory style ads are awful.

  2. For a few years it seemed that many brands were peddling ‘confidence’ as their key benefit to consumers. From chewing gum to car manufacturers to mortgage lenders, it was a rare brief that didn’t hint at confidence.

    I think we may have just entered the “Help” era*

    *see NRMA – help is who we are.

  3. Westpac is currently – like all the big Australian banks – appearing at the Royal Commission into the banking and finance industry, where its appalling, greedy, criminal behaviour is being made horribly public.

    Running an ad about its sponsorship of rescue helicopters is simply an attempt at ‘damage control’. It’s a plea for help.

    Sorry, but it’s too little, too late – the damage is done.

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